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Full text of "Juvenal and Persius. With an English translation by G.G. Ramsay"

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E. CAPPS, ph.d., ll.d. W. H. D. ROUSE, litt.d. 





G. G. RAMSAY, LL.D., Lirr.D. 





First printed 1918 
Reprinted, 1920, 1924, 1928 



19 2-0 

ed T 

. c 



It is a work of some hardihood to attempt the 
translation into English prose of an author who is at 
once a unique master of style, a splendid versifier, 
the greatest satirist, and one of the greatest moralists, 
of the world. Yet it is a task that has appealed to 
scholars of every age, and has a special fascination 
for one who is called upon hy the conditions of this 
series to produce a version which shall be at once 
literal and idiomatic. 

In the case of a great writer like Juvenal, who 
writes for all time, each generation seems to demand 
a translation of its own, in accordance with the 
changes in its own point of view and the shifting 
usages of language ; and each translator desires to 
bring out in his own way the special meaning which 
the author has conveyed to him. 

I have consulted all the better-known translations, 
especially those of Mr. S. G. Owen, Mr. J. D. Lewis, 
and Messrs. Strong and Leeper; and there are many 
good idiomatic renderings of short phrases to be found 


in Mr. J. D. Duff's excellent edition of Juvenal. But 
my greatest obligation is to a collection of MS. papers 
on Juvenal and Persius left to me many years ago by 
my uncle, the late Professor William Ramsay of Glas- 
gow University, whose prelections on Juvenal were 
much appreciated. Among these I have found many 
happy renderings written on the side of a text used 
for class purposes ; and to the same source I owe much 
of the matter of the Introduction, especially the whole 
section on the history of the Roman Satura. I have 
also derived much advantage from Professor Hous- 
man's critical edition of Juvenal, and I have to thank 
him for permission to make use of his paraphrase of 
Sat. vi., 11. O l-O 30. 1 In translating Persius I have 
been under the greatest obligation to the well-known 
version of Professor Conington. 

As it is one of the principles of this series to print 
the originals as a whole, Sals, ii., vi., and ix., so 
often omitted by translators, are included with the 
rest. They all contain fine passages, and some of 
Juvenal's most powerful writing is to be found in 
Sat. vi. The lines which have to be omitted or 
toned down to meet modern taste are few in num- 
ber, and it must in fairness be acknowledged that 
although Juvenal's realism is at times extremely 

* See note on vi. 365, p. 110. 


gross, it is always repulsive, never alluring or 
prurient, in its tone. 

I have found it advisable to add summaries to the 
Satires both of Juvenal and Persius, so as to make 
clear in every case the course of the argument. 
Juvenal's rhetorical exuberance frequently carries 
him away from his subject, and leads him into 
irrelevancies ; while Persius, in his love for recondite 
phrasing and rapid transitions, sometimes leaves the 
reader embarrassed as to his main purpose. Juve- 
nal's sixth Satire, to whose merits so little attention 
has been paid in English editions, has been treated 
somewhat more fully than the rest. 

The text of both the Juvenal and the Persius is 
based upon Biicheler's text of 1893, which, as Mr. Duff 
points out, was the first to give a full and trustworthy 
account of the readings of P (the Codex Pitkoeamts). 
Any variation from that text is mentioned in the 
notes, together with a statement of the authority on 
which it has been adopted. Bucheler's edition was 
re-edited in 1910, with but few changes, by Dr. 
F. Leo. The most important of these changes is that 
he now recognises as genuine the passage discovered 
in 1899 by Mr. E. O. Winstedt in the Bodleian MS. 


March 1, 1918. 











juvenal's satires summarised xlviii 




housman's edition, 1905 lxxxi 






SATIRE III « ' 30 




















SATIRE II - • 333 








The Life of Juvenal 

The only certain evidence as to the facts of 
Juvenal's life is to be found in casual allusions in 
his own Satires ; such external authorities as there 
are possess only an uncertain value, and do not 
even give us the dates of his birth and death. The 
following passages give us what certain landmarks 
we possess : — 

(1) Sat. iv. 153 refers to the murder of the 
Emperor Domitian, which took place upon the 
18th of September, a.d. 96. Sat. ii. 29-33 contains 
a gross attack upon Domitian. 

(2) Sat. i. 49, 50 mentions the recent condemna- 
tion of Marius Priscus for extortion in the province 
of Africa. That trial, made famous by the fact that 
the younger Pliny was the chief prosecutor, took 
place in January, a.d. 100. 

(3) The allusion to a comet and an earthquake in 
connection with Armenian and Parthian affairs in 
Sat. vi. 407 has been held, with some probability, to 
refer to events in the year 115. 

(4) Sat. vii. begins with a prophecy that bright 
days are in store for literature, since it has now 



been assured of the patronage of Caesar. The 
probability is that the Caesar thus referred to is 
Hadrian, who succeeded Trajan in the year a.d. 117. 
The attempts to prove that Trajan was the emperor 
intended have not been successful. Trajan was by 
no means a literary emperor, whereas Hadrian was 
himself a poet and surrounded himself with literary 
and ai-tistic persons of various kinds. 

(5) In Sat. xiii. 17 Juvenal describes Calvinus, the 
friend to whom the Satire is addressed, as one 

qui tarn post terga reliquit 
Sexaginta annos Fonteio consule natus. 

There were consuls of the name of Fonteius Capito 
in three different years, a.d. 12, 59, and 67. The 
first date is obviously too early ; the year referred to 
is probably a.d. 67, since in that year, and not in 
the other two, the name of Fonteius stands first 
in the Fasti. This would fix Sat. xiii. to the year 

A.D. 127. 

(6) Lastly, in Sat. xv. 27 : — 

Nos miranda quidem sed nuper consule lunco 
Gesta super calidae referemus moenia Copti, 

the reading lunco, now satisfactorily established for 
[unto, refers to Aemilius luncus, who was consul in 
the year 127. Sat. xv. must therefore have been 
written in the year a.d. 127, or shortly after it (imper). 
It will be noted that these dates, supported by 
various other considerations, suggest that the Satires 


are numbered in the order of their publication. This 
view is confirmed by the fact recorded that the 
Satires were originally published in five separate 
books ; the first book consisting of Sat. i. to v. 
inclusive, the second of Sat. vi., the third of Sat. vii. 
to ix., the fourth of Sat. x. to xii. inclusive, and the 
fifth of the remaining Satires. In the case of Sat. L, 
however, it seems probable that this Satire, being in 
the nature of a preface, was written after the rest of 
Book i. 

Such are the only certain indications as to date 
which can be discovered in Juvenal's own words. 
They suggest that the literary period of his life 
(apart from his earlier recitations) was embraced 
within the reigns of the emperors Trajan (a.d. 
98-117) and Hadrian (a.d. 117-138), probably not 
extending to the end of the hitter's reign. And 
as in Sat. xi. 203 he seems to speak of himself as 
an old man, we may perhaps, with some certainty, 
put his birth between the yeai-s a.d. 60 and 70. 

Other indications of a personal kind are few and 
insignificant. When Umbricius, on leaving Rome, 
bids good-bye to his old friend Juvenal, he speaks 
of the chance of seeing him from time to time when 
he comes, for the sake of his health, " to his own 
Aquinum " ; from which we may fairly infer that the 
Volscian town of Aquinum was the poet's native 

This inference is confirmed by an inscription 



on a marble stone, now lost, which was found at 
Aquinum. The stone formed part of an altar to 
Ceres ; and the inscription records the fact that the 
altar had been dedicated to Ceres at his own cost 
by one D. Junius Juvenalis, who is described as a 
Tribune in a Dalmatian cohort, as a duumvir quin- 
quennalis, and a jlamen of the deified emperor 
Vespasian (Corp. Inscr. Lat. x. 5382). It should be 
added that the praenomen of the donor (D.) was not 
legible on the inscription, and that only the two first 
letters of the nomen Junius could be deciphered. 

It is not at all certain that this inscription refers 
to the poet Juvenal. Apart from a very doubtful 
statement in a Biography which has yet to be men- 
tioned, there is no evidence that Juvenal ever served 
in the army ; indeed, his comments on the army in 
Sat. xvi., which express a contempt for soldiers very 
similar in kind to that expressed by Persius, almost 
forbid the supposition. His writings suggest that 
he habitually lived in Rome, and make it improbable 
that he could at any time of his life have lived long 
enough in Aquinum to enable him to gain and fill 
the important positions mentioned in the inscription. 
The most we can infer is that he belonged to a 
family of repute in his native town, and was himself 
therefore fairly representative of the higher circles 
of provincial life. 

In Sat. xi. we find Juvenal in Rome, offering to 
his friend Persicus a frugal banquet to which his 



Tiburtine farm was to contribute a fat kid, with 
other farm produce, pears, grapes, and apples, 
together with asparagus gathered in the intervals 
of her spinning by his bailiff's wife. 1 

A passage in xv. 45 records the fact that Juvenal 
had visited Egypt : — 

luxuria, quantum ipse notavi, 
Barbara famoso non cedit lurba Canopo; 

— a positive statement which cannot be put aside 
because in his fifteenth Satire the poet makes a 
geographical mistake as to the proximity of Ombi to 
Tentyra, nor yet made too much of in connection 
with the statement in the Biography falsely at- 
tributed to Suetonius, to the effect that Juvenal had 
been sent into Egypt in his old age as a form of 

That Juvenal had received the best education of 
his time and had been trained in the moral principles 
of the Stoics is apparent from the whole tenour 
of his teaching. The statement in xiii. 121-123 
that he had not studied the doctrines of the Cynics, 
Epicureans, or Stoics seems only to refer to the 
more philosophical parts of those systems. 

There are three passages in the poet Martial 
(Epp. vii. xxiv. and xci. and Epp. xn. xviii.) in which 

1 The idea that Juvenal possessed a paternal estate, 
distinct from the farm at Tibur, seems to rest upon a 
misconception of the meaning of vi. 57. 



Juvenal is named — if we presume, as seems certain, 
that the Satirist is the person there mentioned. 
These epigrams show that the two poets lived 
on terms of friendship and familiarity with one 
another, but they throw no light upon Juvenal's 
personal history and career. In the epigram vu. xci. 
written in a.d. 93, Juvenal is styled facundus, an 
epithet which implies that by that time Juvenal's 
reputation, either as a declaimer or as an author, was 
established ; while in xn. xviii. Martial contrasts his 
own peaceful and happy life in a rural district of 
Spain with the noisy, restless life led by Juvenal in 
the Suburra. As Martial's twelfth book was written 
and collected between the years 102 and 104, that 
date would correspond pretty closely with that 
estimated above for the beginning of Juvenal's 
literary activity. As Mr. Duff puts it, "the facts go 
to prove that Martial ceased to write about the time 
that Juvenal began." 

Amid the scanty external evidence as to the life 
of Juvenal, it is necessary to pay some attention to 
the statements made in the old Biographies which 
are attached to many of the ancient manuscripts of 
Juvenal. Early scholars were inclined to attribute 
these Biographies, or at least the oldest of them, 
from which the others were copied, either to 
Suetonius, the author of the Lives of the first 
Twelve Caesars, or to Valerius Probus, a distin- 
guished grammarian of the second century. It is 



now generally admitted that there is no ground for 
these attributions, and that in all probability the 
earliest of them, from which the others were evi- 
dently copied with some difference of detail, are 
not older than the fourth century a.d. For all that, 
they seem to represent, more or less, an ancient 
tradition, and it is worth while considering how far 
some of their statements seem probable in them- 
selves, and fit in with our other sources of infor- 
mation, or present improbabilities which cannot 
be accepted. 

The oldest and best form of the Biogi-aphy is as 
follows : — 

Vita D. Junii Juvenaus. — Iunius Iuvenalis, liber- 
tini locuplelis incertum est fdius an alumnus, ad mediam 
fere aetalem declamavit animi magis causa quam quod 
se scholae. aid foro piaepararet. Deinde paucorum 
versuum satyra non absurde composila in Paridem 
pantomimum poelamque [eius] semenslribus mililiolis 1 
tumentem [hoc ?] genus scripturae industriose excoluit. 
Et tamen din ne modico quidem auditorio quicquam 
committers est ausus. Mox magna frequentia magnoque 
successu bis ac ter audilus est, id ea quoque quae prima 
fecerat inferciret novis scriplis : 

1 The allusion is to honorary appointments to the military 
tribunate (imaginariae militiae genus, Suet. Claud. 25), a 
system instituted by -Claudius in order that the holder 
might obtain equestrian rank. The word militiola means "a 
trumpery period of military service." 


I 2 


quod nor- dant proceres, dabil histrio. Tu Camerinos 

Et Bareas, tu nobilium magna atria curas ? 

Praefeclos Pelopea facit, Philomela tribunos. 

(vii. 90-92.) 

Erat turn in deliciis aulae histrio mullique fautorum eius 
coltidie provekebantur. Venit ergo luvenalis in sus- 
picionem, quasi iempora figurate notasset, ac statim per 
honorem militiae quamqua?n octogenarius urbe summotus 
est missusque ad praefecturam cohortis in extrema parte 
lendentis Aegypti. hi supplicii genus placuit, ut lem 
alque ioculari delicto par esset. Verum intra brevissimum 
tempus angore et taedio periit. 

The first sentence of this Life contains no infor- 
mation that we are not prepared to accept. Nothing 
is more probahle than that Juvenal had long 
practised himself in the art of declamation, and 
only embarked on publication when his reputation 
was established, and he felt confident of success. 
His recitations would at first be delivered to select 
coteries of congenial friends, in whose company he 
would forge out and perfect his biting epigrams, 
just as Tacitus is supposed to have done with 
his famous senlentiae. It is quite probable, therefore, 
that such a passage as that quoted from Sat. vii. 
may originally have formed part of a private recita- 
tion, and have afterwards been incorporated in the 
more finished edition of the Satire when published. 
But in explaining the rest of the Life the early 
commentators were sadly at fault. 



The person satirised in the passage quoted in the 
Life was a dancer of the name of Paris, who had 
just been mentioned in connection with the poet 
Statius. " A monstrous thing/' says Juvenal, "that 
after charming the town with his beautiful voice, 
Statius would have to starve if he did not sell to 
Paris his unpublished Agave " : Esurit, intactam Paiidi 
nisi vendit Agaven (vii. 87). 

Now there were two famous dancers of the name 
of Paris, to cither of whom the passage in Sat. vii. 
might apply. The one nourished, and was put to 
death, in the reign of Nero ; while the other met 
a similar fate under Domitian. The early com- 
mentators on the Biography took it for granted, 
naturally enough, that the Paris mentioned in the 
Biography was the same Paris that is mentioned by 
Juvenal himself in Sat. vii. But the dates given 
above for the life of Juvenal prove conclusively 
that neither of the artists who bore the name of 
Paris could possibly have brought about the banish- 
ment of Juvenal in the manner stated. The later of 
the two was put to death in the reign of Domitian ; 
and it has been shown above that the period of 
Juvenal's literary activity did not begin, and that 
Sat. vii. was not published, till some years after the 
death of that Emperor. All attempts to bring the 
banishment within the period of Domitian 's reign 
have broken down. 

But though the story of Juvenal's banishment as 



usually told cannot possibly be true, it has been in- 
geniously suggested that the words of the Biography 
may be read in such away as to give it some measure 
of probability. Having stated that Juvenal had 
scored a success by his Satire against Paris — a Satire 
evidently declaimed among private friends — we are 
told that he was subsequently encouraged to insert the 
passage among his published works. The biography 
then goes on : Erat turn in deliciis aulae histrio, mul- 
tique fautoram eius cottidie provehebantur. Venit ergo 
Iuvenalis in suspicionem quasi tempora Jigurate notasset. 
Filled with resentment at this attack, the histrio 
prevailed upon the emperor to send Juvenal into 
exile in Egypt under pretence of a military com- 
mand, where he died shortly after of a broken heart. 
Now we are not obliged to translate the words 
erat turn in deliciis aulae histrio by " The actor [i.e. 
Paris] was at that time a favourite of the Court." 
The words indeed would more naturally mean 
" There was at that time an actor who was a favourite 
at Court," who resented the attack upon a member 
of his own profession as an indirect attack upon 
himself. The words which follow show that the 
offence did not consist of the personal attack on 
Paris, but that the attack on Paris was considered to 
contain a sidelong indirect attack (quasi Jigurate 
?wtassci) upon some other actor. Such an incident 
is not at all likely to have happened in the reign of 
either Nerva or Trajan, but it may well have occurred 



under Hadrian, who became emperor in a.d. 119. 
Hadrian himself was a patron of actors and artistes 
of every kind, and he was quite a person who might 
have taken offence at a supposed insult offered to 
one of his favourites. The words of Sidonius Apol- 
linaris, in the sixth century, who says of Juvenal 
irati fuit histrionis exul, show how steadily the 
tradition of the banishment had maintained itself. 
There is a certain convergence of dates in Juvenal's 
life towards the year 119; and though the above 
explanation can only be looked upon as a conjecture, 
it presents a story which may not impossibly be 
true, while the traditional version of the story is 
demonstrably false. 

Life of Persius 

We know from che Eusebian chronicle that the 
poet A. Persius Flaccus was born in the year a.d. 34, 
somewhat more than two years before the death 
of the Emperor Tiberius, and that he died in the 
year 62. He thus lived through the reigns of Caius 
and Claudius and the first eight years of Nero. For 
other information as to his life and circumstances 
our sole source of information is an ancient Biography 
prefixed to many of the manuscripts of Persius. 
This Biography many scholars attributed to Suetonius, 
the biographer of the first twelve Caesars, on the 
ground that the lexicographer Suidas says that 



that author wrote a book De Poetis, of which the 
ancient biographies of Terence and Horace are 
supposed to have formed a part. In the oldest 
MSS., however, the Biography of Persius is described 
as having been taken from a commentary of Probus 
Valerius, so that we may with some probability 
attribute this Biography either to the famous gram- 
marian of that name, who lived in the reign of Nero, 
or to one or other of the grammarians who bore the 
same name. Such as it is, this authority is the best 
that we possess ; and as it is evidently of ancient 
origin, and deals with simple facts with regard to 
which there could be no motive for falsification, we 
may with some confidence accept its statements as 

We are told that the poet was born at Volaten-ae 
on the 4th of December, a.d. 34, and that he died of 
an affection of the stomach on the 24th of November, 
a.d. 62. He was a Roman Eques, of good position, and 
became heir to a considerable fortune. His father died 
when he was only six years old; and though his mother 
married again, becoming a widow for the second 
time, she attended carefully to his education, first at 
Volaterrae, and then removing him in his twelfth year 
to Rome. There he went through the usual course 
of instruction for youths in his position, attending 
the lectures, first of the distinguished grammarian 
Remmius Palaemon, and afterwards those of the 
rhetorician Virginius Flavus. At the age of sixteen 


he was put under the charge of the Stoic philosopher 
L. Annaeus Cornutus, who became his guide, philo- 
sopher, and friend, and towards whom, in one of the 
most charming passages in his Satires, he pours forth 
his feelings in terms of the liveliest gratitude and 
affection (Sat. v. 30-51). 

Though living in a small domestic circle, in terms 
of closest intimacy with his mother, his sister, and 
his aunt, he seems to have been admitted to the best 
literary society of the time, and especially of persons 
connected with the Stoic School. One of his 
earliest friends was the lyric poet Caesius Bassus ; 
he was intimate with the famous Paetus Thrasea, 
whose wife, the heroic Arria, was a kinswoman of 
his own ; he enjoyed the friendship of Lucan, who 
was a great admirer of his works, declaring haec vera 
poemata esse. He was also acquainted with Seneca, 
though, as might be expected, he is said not to have 
admired his character. He left his library, including 
his own Satires, with a sum of money, to Cornutus, 
who accepted the library and, after making a few 
corrections, handed over the editing of the Satires to 
his friend Caesius Bassus. We are told that he 
wrote slowly, as might easily be discovered from the 
style of the Satires themselves. He was of a pleasing 
appearance, had the most gentle manners, was pure 
and temperate in his life, and exemplary in his 
domestic relations. The Biography ends with some 
dubious assertions, probably added by a later hand, 



among which is the baseless idea which possessed 
his early commentators, that the main object of the 
First Satire was to ridicule the poetical productions 
of the Emperor Nero. 

That Persius was born at Volaterrae in Etruria 
rests on the authority of the Biography, as also of the 
Eusebian chronicle ; yet learned commentaries have 
been written to wrest the words of Sat. vi. 6-7 from 
their natural meaning in the endeavour to prove 
that the poet was born at the town of Luna on the 
Gulf of Spezzia, on the Genoese coast, near the 
famous marble quarries of Carrara. Having migrated 
to that delicious spot for the winter, Persius writes : 

mihi nunc Ligus ora 
Intcpet, hibematque meum mare. 

But the words meum mare cannot be made to bear 
the meaning of a native shore ; and, even if they 
did, the phrase might well be used of the sea that 
beats on the shores of Etruria, in which province the 
poet was born. 

The period of the early years of Persius marks 
in a peculiar manner the change which had taken 
place in the general system of education as formerly 
pursued at Rome with a view to the needs of actual 
life. Tin's change was the direct result of the 
dowDfall of the old constitution, and the substitution 
of an all-pervading despotism for the free play of 
public life which had characterised and ennobled 



the fine days of the Republic. The change exer- 
cised a most baneful influence on the minds and 
tastes of the Roman people, and its blighting effects 
soon became all too conspicuous in the rapid decline 
of their literature. 

It would be hard to imagine a system of education 
more practical and more stimulating for the youth 
of a great and free country, preparing itself for 
the task of civilising and dominating the world, 
than that which was pursued in Rome after the 
roughness and ignorance of the Latin warrior had 
been softened and enlightened by acquaintance 
with the art and literature of Greece. The Dialogus 
of Tacitus has left us a detailed account of that 
system as followed by those who looked forward to 
taking a part in the public life of the time. For 
such young men some excellence in public speaking 
was a matter of absolute necessity. Careful train- 
ing at home would be followed by what we might 
call a course of secondary education, embracing 
Grammar, Rhetoric and Literature. To this would 
be added a course of Philosophy, for which the 
more eager spirits would repair to Athens, which 
had now become the Universitjr of the world. His 
preliminary education thus completed, the youth of 
fuil age would be put under the patronage of some 
leading statesman of the time. Taking his stand 
beside his patron when receiving in his atrium the 
visits of his friends, he would there hear discussions 



on all the current topics of the day. He would 
accompany his patron to the Law Courts, watch 
the cases that were being tried, and hear ex- 
perienced comments upon them, as well as upon the 
speeches that had been delivered. After this 
initiation into public affairs, the young man would 
have to serve his time in the army — a period of 
20 years in the infantry, or 10 years in the cavalry, 
seems to have been originally exacted — after which 
he was fully qualified to enter upon public life on 
his own account. 

It is little to be wondered at that such a traininsr, 
pursued in an atmosphere of political freedom, 
should have achieved great results ; and we may say 
with some confidence, leaving moral considerations 
aside, that the number of great men who flourished 
in Rome during the last century of the Republic — 
the period during which the effects of the above 
system made themselves felt — whether as warriors, 
statesmen, orators, historians, or poets — scarcely finds 
a parallel in the history of the world. 

But when Augustus had succeeded in crushing 
all his rivals, and establishing in place of a free 
Republic a system of pure though carefully-veiled 
autocracy, the results soon began to make them- 
selves felt. Virgil and Horace, enamoured of the 
charms of peace after the horrors of civil war, 
and persuading themselves that Augustus was the 
natural successor, representative, and restorer of all 



that was best in ancient Rome, succeeded for a while 
in investing the personal government of Augustus 
with a poetic atmosphere which corresponded little 
with its real nature. But they had no successors. 
Reposing gladly under the paternal sway of Augustus 
during his later years, Rome lost her ideals. She 
was peaceful, prosperous, and contented ; the fiery 
spirit of the old Republican days gradually died 
away, and the majority of the citizens, finding that 
servility was the surest road to advancement, " pre- 
ferred the security of the present to the hazards of 
the past." 1 The patronage accorded by Augustus 
to men of letters may have done something to arrest 
the decay of literature ; but with the close of the 
reign of Augustus a nd the accession of Tiberius the 
truth could no longer be concealed that the days 
of liberty were ovei-, and the natural results followed 
in every department of human life and thought. 
Deprived of the inspiration of reality, literature and 
oratory descended from the public to the private 
stage, and lost alike their meaning and their manli- 
ness. Pursuits which could only be followed with 
danger soon ceased to be followed at all, and instead 
of being trained by public men among public con- 
cerns, the youth were now taught to exercise them- 
selves in the schools of the rhetoricians, where they 
learnt to carry on subtle disputations on topics wholly 
remote from common life. 

1 Tac. Ann. I. ii. 



For the decline of literature, there is no more 
authentic testimony than that of Persius ; and yet 
he seems to be quite unconscious of the true causes 
of that decline. His first Satire fills an important 
gap in the history of Roman literature. It contains 
an elaborate attack upon the poetry and the poeti- 
cal methods of his own day, whose weaknesses he 
connects, in true Stoic fashion, not with the loss of 
public freedom, but with the decay of morality : — 
Rome has lost, he tells us, all sense of what is good 
or bad, what is manly or mawkish, in literature ; she 
now loves the turgid and the grandiloquent; dandy 
poets, after careful preparation, inflame the passions 
of their audience with poems of a licentious cast. 
Others, with similar affectations of dress and manner, 
bring down the applause of the house with senti- 
mental mythological ditties, and in their efforts for 
smoothness lose all manliness of tone. Many buy 
the coveted commendation by gifts of dainties or old 
clothes. Others again affect archaisms, or revel in 
bombastic mouthings which would make Virgil turn 
in his grave. No orator can defend a client accused 
of crime without using all the elaborate figures of 
rhetoric ; all simple writing, all honest criticism have 
disappeared ; " I at least must tell the truth, and I 
must write down Rome as an ass ! " (Sat. i. 121.) 

Such is the outspoken verdict of Persius on the 
poetry and oratory in his day ; yet never for a 
moment does he hint at its true cause ; never once 


does he heave a sigh — even a despairing sigh like 
that of Luean 1 — over the loss of public liberty. 
And yet he had two admirable opportunities for 
suggesting the topic. The opening words of the 
4th Satire (Rem popidi tractas?) suggest a political 
discourse. " What are the qualifications," he asks, 
" with which the budding statesman should provide 
himself?" But the question is never answered; 
the Satire turns out to be a purely abstract dis- 
quisition on the subject of self-knowledge, dressed 
up with a pretended application to the case of 

Not less remarkable is the avoidance of all refer- 
ence to public life in the 5th Satire. The main subject 
of that poem is that of human freedom, being an 
expansion of the doctrine of the Stoics that all 
men (Stoics of course excepted) are slaves. Here, if 
anywhere, was the opportunity for pointing, directly 
or indirectly, to the state of political servitude into 
which Rome had fallen. But no trace of such an 
idea is to be found. From first to last the subject 
is treated from the point of view of the schools, the 
sole question raised being that of the command by 
the individual of his own soul. Even when the poet 
touches on the subject of Roman citizenship, it is to 
dismiss with scoi*n the idea that it conferred any 
kind of freedom worth having : — 

1 plus est quam vita talusque Quod perit IPharsalia, vii. 



Hen sleriles veri, quibus una Quirilem 
Vertigo facil ! (v. 75.) 

Not one word is there in Persius, from beginning 
to end, that recognises the change that had passed 
over public life in Rome, or of the results of that 
change on the morals and intellects of the time. 

The Supposed Obscurity of Persius 

It has been the fashion to characterise Persius as 
obscure, but the epithet is hardly deserved. He 
is undoubtedly difficult; his mode of expressing 
himself is often peculiar and fantastic. There is a 
certain preciosity in his choice of phrases ; he is 
sometimes crabbed and tortuous, and in his desire 
for compression he occasionally, especially in his 
many repetitions of Horatian ideas, seeks to obtain 
extra force by blending two ideas into one without 
giving full expression to either. He is often ellip- 
tical ; his dialogue is abrupt and hard to follow. 
He is certainly difficult as a whole, and his 
style is one which needs to be wrestled with ; but 
with a little careful attention the sequence of his 
thought can always be discovered, and, though indi- 
vidual passages may cause embarrassment, he cannot 
as a whole be justly charged with obscurity. His 
contemporaries did not find him obscure. The 
Biography tells us that no sooner was the book 



published than it became the rage (editum librum 
continuo mirari homines el diripere cocperunl). Martial 
vouches for its popularity : — 

Saepius in libro memoratur Persius uno 
Quam levis in tota Marsus Amazonide. 

iv. xxix. 7-8. 

And the careful critic Quintilian, tells us : 

Midtnm et verae gloriae, quatnuis uno libro, Persius 
meruit (Inst. Or. x. i. 94). 

If, then, the obscurity of Persius was unknown to 
his contemporaries, we must look to some other 
cause for its discovery; and this seems to be pro- 
vided by what is evidently a spurious addition to 
the Biography, to the effect that the first Satire of 
Persius was intended as an attack upon Nero and 
his poetical efforts. The original text of i. 121, we 
are told, ran thus : — 

Auricidas asini Mida rex habet ; 

but alarmed by the boldness of these lines, which 
seemed to point too plainly to Nero, Cornutus 
emended the line, making it read (as in the now 
received text) 

Auricidas asini quis non habet ? 

a reading which, as we have already seen, gives 
point and meaning to the whole Satire. 




But the idea that Nero was the object of attack 
in the 1st Satire could not be allowed to drop ; it 
was soon developed by the commentators, and 
became parent of the idea that Persius was obscure. 
Supposed references to Nero were found to lurk 
in every line of Sat. i. ; and it was even discovered 
that Nero was also the covert object of attack in the 
4th Satire — an idea which has not even yet departed 
from the pages of some of our modern commen- 
tators. The height of absurdity was reached by the 
Scholiast who, when commenting on the four lines 
ridiculed in Sat. i. 99-103, informs us verba Neronis 
sunt ; to which a more recent annotator added that 
the lines are taken from a tragedy, supposed to 
be written by Nero, called the Bacchantes. No such 
play has ever been heard of; no tragic play that 
was ever written would contain passages in dactylic 
hexameters ; yet we are actually asked to believe 
that a critic like Cornutus, so anxious to score out a 
harmless reference to King Midas for fear that Nero 
might take it to himself, allowed four whole lines, 
known by everybody to have formed part of a play 
of Nero's, to stand uncorrected ! Thus the original 
idea on which the charge of obscurity mainly rested 
falls to the ground, and we may apply his own motto 
to the interpreting of his difficulties — nee te quaesi- 
veris extra. 



Persius and Juvenal Compared 

The great difference between Persius and Juvenal 
is this, that Persius was a poet of the closet, a 
student, a recluse, full of youthful enthusiasm, livino- 

• 'to 

m a retired atmosphere under the shelter of lovino- 
female relatives, and with no knowledge of the 
outside life of the world beyond what could be 
gathered from the lectures of his Stoic instructors. 
His world is not the living world of Rome, but the 
world of books ; his incidents, his characters, are 
chiefly taken from Horace, whose virile expressions 
he delights to serve up in some novel and recondite 
form, or from the stock examples of the Schools. 

Juvenal, on the other hand, is a realist of the 
realists ; he grapples with the real things of life, 
and derives all his inspiration from the doings of the 
men and women of his own day. He belonged to 
the generation which had suffered from the enor- 
mities of Caligula, Claudius and Nero ; he had pro- 
bably himself witnessed the concluding and worst 
phases of the reign of Nero, and had lived through 
the whole of the gloomy tyranny of Domitian. He 
thus knew what Rome was in the period of her 
worst corruption. Impregnated with the moral 
teaching of the Stoics, he was no mere repeater of 
the commonplaces of the Schools. An ardent ad- 
mirer of the simple and hardy virtues of ancient 
Rome, he holds up a mirror to every part of the 


c 2 


private life of the Rome of his day, and by the most 
caustic and trenchant invective seeks to shame her 
out of her vices. He was thus eminently fitted on 
the ground of personal experience to describe the 
manners of Imperial Rome at the period of her 
worst corruption, and long practice had put in his 
hands a weapon which enabled him to castigate 
them with matchless power and severity. 

Juvenal's pictures are doubtless exaggerated ; all 
brilliant rhetoric is more or less overstrained, and 
the peculiar doctrines of Stoicism naturally lent 
themselves to paradox and exaggeration. But apart 
from Stoicism, there are certain fundamental preju- 
dices in Juvenal's mind which, though honestly 
entertained, and natural in one who was always 
looking back to the worthies of old Rome for 
examples, are pressed upon us with a frequency 
and an emphasis which seem excessive. His belief 
in the virtue of primitive times ; his hatred of the 
foreigner, especially one coming from Greece and 
the East ; his tirades against wealth and the wealthy, 
and his suggestion that wealth is always acquired by 
unworthy means ; his laudation of mere poverty ; 
his incapacity to see any object in trade except that 
of self-enrichment, or any value at all in humble 
or menial occupations, however useful to the com- 
munity {Sat. iii. 71-2)— all these ideas belong to 
what we may call the old Roman part of Juvenal's 
prepossessions. They serve to account for the 



singular want of proportion which is to be observed 
in some of his moral judgments, and they have to 
be reckoned with in estimating the value of his 

With these modifying elements in view, it has 
often been asked, How far can we depend upon 
the denunciations of Juvenal as presenting a faithful 
picture of the Rome of his day? His sincerity 
cannot be questioned. It is impossible, as we read 
through his satires, not to feel that he speaks 
what in his conscience he believes to be the truth, 
and appraises everything and everybody in accord- 
ance with the standard of morality which he has 
accepted as his guide in life. His pictures of 
Rome, and of life in Rome, are so vivid, so full of 
characteristic detail, that they carry with them a 
conviction of their fidelity ; while his shrewd know- 
ledge of human nature, and the truly noble lines 
on which he lays down some of the great principles 
of human conduct — many of them in harmony with 
the best ideas of modern times — make us feel a 
general confidence in his moral judgments. 

But we have more than internal evidence to rely 
upon. The poet Martial, who was a contemporary 
and friend of Juvenal, lived through the very period 
from which Juvenal's sketches are taken. His 
epigrams deal with the same topics of social life 
which form the staple of Juvenal's satires. The 
Rome of Martial is the Rome of Juvenal. He 



describes, in the minutest detail, the same vices and 
the same manner of living ; and the correspondence 
between them acquires a double force from the fact 
that the two authors looked at these same things 
from a totally different angle. Juvenal was a 
moralist ; he regarded the vices and follies of his 
day as affording material for reprobation ; Martial 
looked upon the same facts as affording material 
for quips and epigrams. Juvenal hardly ever casts 
off the attitude of a preacher ; Martial gives an 
identical picture of Roman life without a touch ot 
moral indignation. 

But although we cannot but accept Juvenal's 
account of the corruption of his day as true in the 
main, it does not follow that it was true of all 
Rome, and that there was no reverse side to the 
picture. We know from Pliny, Seneca, and other 
writers, that there were many quiet, thoughtful and 
well-conducted homes in Rome, in which a high 
level of morality was reached, which had no share 
in the corruptions of the time, and were preparing 
the ground for that period of philosophical reflec- 
tion and moral regeneration which distinguished 
the second century. We may, therefore, console 
ourselves by the reflection that the castigations of 
Juvenal, though justified on the whole, referred 
mainly to what might be called the seamy side of 
Roman life — a side to which some parallel may be 
found in our own boasted centres of civilization. 

xxx vi 


Juvenal was no politician ; he never casts an eye 
on the political conditions of his day. He is as 
blind as Persius to the effects on Roman life and 
character of the loss of public freedom. Though 
a passionate admirer of the Republican heroes ot 
old Rome, he never expends a sigh upon the down- 
fall of the Republic ; he has none of the belated 
and despairing republicanism which inspires the 
sonorous hexameters of Lucan. He does not hesi- 
tate to dwell on the crimes and vices of individual 
emperors ; but he accepts their rule as a matter of 
course. He never connects the autocratic character 
of the government with the degradation of the 
Roman people which he deplores. He is essen- 
tially the moralist of private life ; perhaps the only 
distinctly political observation that can be discovered 
in his satires is when he declares that Rome was 
free in the daj's when she called Cicero the " Father 
of his Country " : 

Sed Roma parentem, 
Roma palrem patriae Ciceronem libera dixit. 

(viii. 243-4.) 

The Salura of Rome 

The classical passage on Roman Satura is to be 
found in Quintilian, Inst. Orat. X. i. 93-95 : — 

Satura quidem tota nostra est, in qua primus i?isignem 
laudem adeptus Lucilius quosdam ita deditos sibi adhuc 



habet amatores ut eum non eiusdem modo operis auctoribus 
sed omnibus poetis praeferre non dubitent . . . 

After comparing Lucilius with Horace, he pro- 
ceeds to say : — 

Multum et verae gloriae quamvis uno libro Persius 
meruit. Sunt clari hodieque et qui olim nominabuntur. 
Alterum Mud etiam prius saturae genus, sed non sola 
carminum varietate mixtum, condidit Terenlius Varro, 
vir Romanorum eruditissimus. Plurimos hie libros et 
divitissimos composuit, perilissimus linguae Latinae et 
omnis antiquilalis el rerum Graecarum noslraramque, 
plus tamen scientiae collaturus quam eloquentiae. 

To this we may add the testimony of the gram- 
marian Diomedes (fourth-fifth century ), p. 483 : — 

Satura dicitur carmen apttd Romanos, non apud 
Graecos, maledicum et ad carpenda hominum vitia 
archaeae comoediae charactere compositum, quale 
scripserunt Lucilius et Horatius et Persius ; at olim 
carmen quod e variis poematibus constabat satura 
nominabatur , quale scripserunt Pacuvius et Ennius. 

And again : — 

Satura carmina multa simul et poemata comprehen- 

Comparing the above passages we learn that there 
were several kinds of composition known by the 
name of Satura : — 

(1) The Satire of Lucilius, Horace, and Juvenal ; 


(2) An earlier form of Satire founded by Terentiua 
Varro, of which the characteristic feature was that 
it was non sold carminum varietate mixtum; and 

(3) The kind distinguished from the Varronian 
kind by the preceding definition, and more particu- 
larly described by Diomedes as having been used by 
Pacuvius and Ennius, and defined as carmen quod e 
varus poematibus constabat. 

But even so we have not reached the earliest 
form of Satura, which was of a dramatic kind. In 
recounting the history of the importation of dra- 
matic games from Etruria into Rome in consequence 
of a pestilence in the year b.c. 364, Livy tells us 
(vii. 2) how the ludiones imported from Etruria danced 
Tuscan dances of a not ungraceful kind to the 
music of the pipe, but without words or gestures ; 
how the native youth imitated these performances, 
adding to them the jocular bandying of verses 
amongst each other with appropriate gesticulations ; 
till at last, improving upon these early efforts, non, 
sicid antea, Fescennino versu similcm incompositum 
temere ac rudem alternis iaciebant ; sed impletas modis 
saturas, descripto iam ad tibicinem cantu, motuque con- 
gruenti peragebant. Hence the introduction of the 
drama some years afterwards (b.c. 240) by Livius 
Andronicus qui ab saturis ausus est primus argumento 
fabulam serere, i.e. construct a play with a regular 

We thus see that the name of Satura was origin- 



ally given to a rough musical performance of a semi- 
dramatic kind, being developed it would seem from 
the rude banterings in extempore verse or otherwise 
of the Italian youth, who were famed for the antiqua 
et vernacula festivitas with which they used to pelt 
each other in times of village festivals and rejoicings. 1 
Of the Satires of Pacuvius we know nothing, 
except from the above-quoted passage from Dio- 
medes; but of those of Ennius (b.c. 239-169) we 
know enough to give us a good idea of what 
they were. Porphyrion speaks of the fourth book 
of his Satires, Donatus of a sixth, each Satire form- 
ing a book in itself; and some few fragments of 
them remain. One deals with astrologers and 
interpreters of dreams, another with female license ; 
and Quintilian tells us that one of his Satires took a 
dramatic form : — id Voluptatem et Virtutem Prodicus, nl 
Mortem et Vitam quas contendentes in satura tractat 
Ennius {Inst. Orat. ix. ii. 36). Thus Ennian Satire 
seems to have consisted of a variety of poetical 
pieces, composed in various metres, on various topics 

1 For these extempore rustic effusions, full of coarse and 
pungent wit, see Virg. Geo. ii. 385-395, and Hor. Epp. i. 
147-167. Having regard to the evidence afforded by these 
passages, and by the passage from Livy quoted above, it is 
not possible to accept the statement of Prof. H. Nettleship 
that "Lucilius was the first writer who impressed upon the 
Satura that character of invective which it to a great extent 
preserved in the hands of Horace, Persius and Juvenal " 
(Lectures and Essays, second series, 1895). On the contrary, 
it would seem that personal abuse formed the essence of the 
first beginnings of Satura. 



drawn from daily life, occasionally employing dia- 
logue, and written with a certain humour and 
sprightliness of style. 

The Satura of the learned Varro (b.c. 116-28), as 
we have already seen, contained prose as well as 
verse (non sola carminum varietate mixtion), and accord- 
ing to the statement put into his mouth by Cicero 
(Acad. 1. ii. 8) they were written in imitation of the 
Greek philosopher Menippus : — 

El tamen in illis veteribus nostris, quae Menippum 
imilati, non interpretali, quadam hilaritate conspeximus, 
multa admixta ex inlima philosophia, multa dicta dia- 

So too Aulus Gellius u. xviii. 10 : — 

Alii quoque non pauci fuerunt qid post pkilosophi clari 
exstiteruut. Ex quibus Me Menippus fuit cidus librum 
M. Varro in Saluris imitatus est, quas alii Cynicas, ipse 
appellat Menippeas. 

Now Menippus was a Cynic philosopher of 
Gadara (jl. circ. b.c. 60), who from the character 
of his works was distinguished by the epithet 
o-TTouSoyeXotos, i.e. " serio-comic," in consequence of 
the humorous style in which he expressed himself, 
one of his aims being to ridicule the folly and 
trifling of the pseudo-philosophers of the day. 1 

1 We may compare this with the subject of Juvenal's 
second Satire. 



The slight fragments preserved of Menippus are 
not enough to enable us to judge of his style ; but 
from sundry notices of him in Lucian we may gather 
that his Satires were written in prose, 1 that they 
frequently introduced dialogue, and that they em- 
braced a large variety of topics, including especi- 
ally the ridicule of false philosophers. Varro's 
Satires gained the name of Menippea, as Cicero 
informs us, from their general likeness to those 
of Menippus in style and subject. Both emploved 
dialogue, both discoursed on many subjects, and 
both conveyed instruction in a humorous and playful 

Varro was the most voluminous of writers (77-oAu- 
ypa^wraro?, Cic. Epp. ad All. xiii. 18) ; he himself 
computed that he had written 490 books. Of these 
it is obvious, from the number of times they are 
quoted by writers down to the beginning of the fifth 
century, that the Menippean Satires were the most 
popular. There seem to have been no less than 150 
of them, each in a separate book ; the grammarians 
Aulus Gellius (a.d. 117-180) and Nonius Marcellus 
(fourth century?) cite fragments of at least 82 
of the Satires. The titles, of which many have been 

1 Probus indeed (ad Virg. Ed. vi. 31) says that "Varro's 
Satire was called after Menippus : quod is quoque omnigeno 
carmine saturas suas expoliverat ; but among the many 
passages in which Menippus is mentioned by those who 
must have known his writings there is no hiut that he ever 
wrote in verse. 



preserved, are enough to show the variety and 
humorous character of their contents, which covered 
many different subjects, social, philosophic, and 
political. Among them are the following : YSpoKiW, 
apparently an attack upon the Cynics, the " Pro- 
hibitionists " of their day ; Tpixapavo?, " the three- 
headed monster," perhaps an attack upon the 
First Triumvirate ; Hepl e|aywy?/s, on suicide ; TvwOi 
asavrov ; "Ovos \vpas, the ass who pretends to a taste 
for music ; A is 77-aiSes ol yepovres ; Tithonus, on old 
age; ToD irarpb<; to ttcuSiov (the subject of Juvenal's 
fourteenth Satire) ; and Pransus paratus, which seems 
to have suggested the lines of our modern poet, 

Serenely full, the epicure may say 

"Fate cannot harm me, I have dined to~day." 

We now come to the last and greatest form of 
Salura, which has stamped its name on the history 
of literature and the world, the Satire of Lucilius 
and Horace, of Persius and of Juvenal. 

Lucilian Satire 

C. Lucilius, proclaimed by Horace, Persius, and 
Juvenal as the founder of Roman Satire, was born 
at Suessa Aurunca, in Campania, in B.C. 148 ; he 
died in B.C. 103. If not actually the inventor of 
Roman satire, he was the first to mould it into that 
form which subsequently acquired consistency and 



full development in the hands of his distinguished 
successors. Juvenal has no hesitation in acknow- 
ledging him as its father : — 

Cur tamen hoc potius libeai decurrere campo 
Per quern magnus equos Auruncae flexit alumnus ; 

Sat. i. 19-20. 

Horace says of him that he was the first to compose 
poems in this style : — 

Quid cum est Lucilius ausus 
Pri?nus in hanc operis componere carmina morem, 

Sat. ii. i. 63. 

Like Quintilian, Horace proclaims Lucilius as a 
writer in a style unknown to Greece : — 

Graecis intacti carminis auctor {Sat. i. x. 66). 

He was a man of good social position ; Horace 
speaks of himself as " infra Lucili censum " (Sat. n. 
i. 75). He served in the Numantine war, and 
seems to have been on intimate terms with Scipio, and 
the literary society which gathered round him. He 
was a prolific writer, having written no less than 
thirty books of Satires, each book probably con- 
taining several pieces. The subjects treated were 
of the most miscellaneous kind, embracing ques- 
tions of religion, morals, politics, and literary 
criticisms ; some of them even touched on ques- 
tions of grammar, Living in the days of the 



free republic, he indulged in broad and coarse 
personalities, attacking his enemies by name : — 

secuit Lucilius urbem, 
Te Lupe, te Muci, el genuinum fregit in Mis. 

Pers. i. 114-15. 

In this respect, Horace tells us, Lucilius took his 
model from the writers of the old Attic comedy ; 
but while commending his freedom and his wit, 
Horace is severe upon his style, which he pro- 
nounces rough, redundant, and inartistic. In the 
general tone of his writings, and in the purity of his 
aims, he seems to have represented on its best side 
the literary and moral ideas of the Scipionic circle. 
His poems have been described as open letters to 
the public, embracing the whole life of a cultivated 
man of the world in good position, ready to criticise 
everything and everybody in politics, literature, and 
social life. 

With regard to the metre which he employed, 
the great body of his poems, with some exceptions, 
were written in dactylic hexameters ; and from that 
time forward this became the recognised metre of 
Roman satire. 

And now for the bond which linked together 
these various forms of composition under the 
common name of Satura. 

It was the practice among the ancients, in making 



the stated sacrifices to Ceres or Bacchus, or other 
rural deities, to offer to each god a collection of the 
vai'ious first-fruits of the earth, piled up upon a 
large platter. The Greeks designated offerings of 
this mixed kind by the name TrayKap-rria. or 7ray/cap7ros 
Ovaia; while the Latins called a platter thus piled 
up a Lanx Satura, or simply Satura, that word being 
the feminine of the adjective satur (from root sat), 
signifying repletion. The same word was used of 
other things possessing the same quality : a Lex 
passed per saturam was a law containing enactments 
on various subjects which were all passed together 
as a whole. Thus the term came to be used of any 
miscellaneous collection, any medley or hotch-potch 
consisting of many mixed ingredients. 

(1) The first kind of entertainment to which the 
word was applied was that described by Livy vii. 2, 
consisting of rough dialogue set to music, {impletas 
mod is saturas), with singing and dancing. The whole 
might appropriately be called a Dramatic Miscellany 
or Medley. 

(2) Ennius and Pacuvius removed Satura from the 
stage, and gave the name to a number of pieces 
composed on a variety of subjects and in a variety 
of metres. The whole, viewed as a collection, 
might be called a Poetical Miscellany. 

(3) Varro, taking as his model the dialogues of 
Menippus, wrote a vast number of pieces on a 
multitude of different subjects, some purely comic, 



some on grave themes drawn from recondite 
philosophy, but even these treated with a certain 
liveliness of manner (conspersas hilaritate quadam), 
and all thrown into the form of a dialogue, mostly 
in prose, possibly with some admixture of verse, 
and forming what may be called a serio-comic 
Philosophic Miscellany. 

(4) Finally comes the Satura Luciliana, the great 
characteristic of which was the variety of subjects 
dealt with. Of these, however, politics ceased to 
be one after the time of Lucilius. If we admit the 
limits marked out for himself by Juvenal in the 
famous lines, 

Quidquid agunl homines, votnm, timor, ira, voluptas, 
Gaudia, discursns, nosiri farrago libelli est (i. 85-6), 

we might define it as a Moral Miscellany. Unlike 
previous forms of Satire, it eliminated prose and 
restricted itself to one form of verse, the dactylic 
hexameter. It devoted itself mainly to social and 
moral topics, castigating the vices and follies of 
mankind as depicted in their lives and occupations. 
Almost any subject relating to man or society might 
be dealt with in a Satura. Horace allowed himself 
a very wide field, including critical disquisitions 
and such anecdotes as might lead to humorous or 
caustic comment; while Lucilius went further still, 
entering even on the discussion of questions of 
grammar and orthography. Having originated on 


JUV. d 


the stage, Satire retained to the last evident traces 
of its dramatic origin. Varro's Satires consisted 
largely of dialogue ; dialogue is constantly appearing 
in Horace ; Juvenal is full of dramatic touches ; 
while the proper unravelling of obscurely marked 
dialogue forms one of the main difficulties in the 
interpretation of Persius. 

Juvenal's Satires Summarized 

The contents of Juvenal's Satires may be sum- 
marised as follows : 

In his 1st Satire, which was probably written as a 
Preface, either to the whole of the Satires, or to one 
of the five separate books which made up the whole, 
Juvenal again follows in the steps of Persius. Among 
the reasons which impelled him to write satire he 
puts first of all his disgust at the popular poetry 
of the day, and at the recitations on hackneyed 
mythological subjects to which he is compelled to 
listen. He has heard enough of Theseus, Jason, and 
Orestes ; he is bored by perpetual descriptions of the 
grove of Mars, of the cave of Aeolus, and of the 
exploits of Monychus. He prefers to deal with 
realities ; he must describe the men of his own 
time : — 

Whatever passions have the soul possessed, 
Whatever wild desires inflamed the breast, 



Joy, Sorrow, Fear, Love, Hatred, Transport, Rage, 
Shall form the motley subject of my page. 

(Gifford's Version of i. 84, 85.) 

Precisely similar is the disgust expressed by 
Martial at the mawkish mythological poetry of his 

Qui legis Oedipoden caliganlemque Thyesten, 

Colchidas et Scyllas, quid nisi monstra legis ? 
Quid te vana iuvant miserae ludibria cartae ? 

Hoc lege, quod possit dicere vita, Meum est. 
Non hie Centauros, non Gorgonas Harpyasque 
Invenies : hominem pagina nostra sapit. 

{Epp. x. iv. 1-2, 7-10.) 
Juvenal and Martial may thus be said to have 
developed a school of practical poetry. Just as 
Socrates is said to have called down the attention 
of men from the heavens to the earth, so did Juvenal 
and Martial call men from the barren repetition of 
mythological tales and fancies, and the no less barren 
field of rhetorical declamation, to describing the life 
of men as lived in their own time and city. 

Juvenal ends his 1st Satire with the announce- 
ment that he is not to follow the example of Lucilius 
in attacking his contemporaries ; his shafts are to be 
directed, not against the living, but against the dead. 
This is not to be taken merely as a sign of caution 
on Juvenal's part, as though he were afraid of rousing 
resentments like those aroused by Lucilius, but is 

d 2 


rather an indication that his main purpose is to 
expose the vices and follies of the day, not to attack 
the individuals who had committed them. He is to 
be a preacher of morality, not a chastiser of persons. 
And this promise is to a large extent made good. 
Juvenal makes no effort to describe or ridicule 
individual characters, nor did he possess the special 
talent for the purpose. His subject, no doubt, requires 
him frequently to quote names ; but such names are 
usually given merely as typical of some special kind 
of failing. They are taken either from books, or 
from persons who had in some way or other made 
themselves notorious ; some of them may have been 
invented for the occasion. In no case do we recognise 
any special feeling of animosity against the person 
named ; nowhere can we discover any trace of that 
personal vindictiveness which sharpens the point, 
and impairs the truthfulness, of so much of our 
most famous modern satire. And Juvenal's most 
exaggerated invectives are relieved by the feeling 
that they are the sincere outpourings of that saeva 
indignatio which has so often been coupled with his 

In his 2nd Satire Juvenal attacks false philo- 
sophers — men who, while exhibiting in public the 
stern looks and uncouth manners of Stoics, practise 
the worst vices in secret. It is characteristic of 
Juvenal that he quotes as instances of the worst 



depravity the fact that a Roman noble wore clothes 
of almost transparent texture, and that the Emperor 
Otho used cosmetics and carried with him a mirror 
as part of his paraphernalia for war. 

The 3rd Satire, from an artistic point of view, is 
perhaps Juvenal's finest performance. It contains a 
brilliant picture of the living Rome of his day, of its 
sights and sounds, its physical dangers and annoy- 
ances, its luxury and its meanness, its wearisome 
social observances, and of the intolerable inequalities 
which made it impossible for a poor man with any 
self-respect to continue any longer to live in it. 

In lines 18-20 we find a charming indication 
of the poet's natural good taste when he exclaims 
how much nearer to us would be the spirit of Egeria 
" if her fountain were fringed by a margin of green 
grass, and there were no marble ornament to outrage 
the native tufa." 

The 4th Satire is of a lighter kind ; it is in the 
nature of a skit upon the solemn importance with 
which an exacting emperor like Domitian might 
invest the most frivolous act of obsequious flatterers. 
A mullet of huge size is sent up as a present to the 
emperor, who at once summons a meeting of his 
cabinet council to consider how the fish is to be 

The 5th Satire, in a tone of bitter irony, gives us 



the most perfect picture we possess of the manner 
in which a patron of the Imperial times might 
discharge the old historical duty of entertaining his 
clients. The picture is taken from the life ; and we 
cannot doubt that Juvenal had experienced in his 
own person the humiliations which he describes. 
Nothing can be more revolting, nothing more repug- 
nant to every idea of hospitality, than the manner in 
which the host Virro entertains his guest, who as a 
full reward for faithful daily service receives at length 
the long-hoped-for invitation to dinner. He sits, or 
rather reclines, at the same table, but on a lower 
couch. He is subjected to every kind of indignity 
at the hands both of the host and of his menial 
attendants. For every course a different and inferior 
dish is served to the client ; so also with the drink. 
It is not that Virro grudges the expense of the 
entertainment ; it is his deliberate object to insult 
his client, and he rejoices in his humiliation. 

The longest, the most elaborate, and the most 
brilliant of Juvenal's Satires is the 6th, which puts 
before us, in long procession, a Dream of Unlovely 

What, Postumus ? Are you, in your sober senses, 
going to take to yourself a wife ? Do you not know 
that Chastity has fled this earth ? She may have 
stayed with us in Saturn's time, and perhaps lingered 
awhile under Jupiter before he grew his beard, in the 



days when men still made their home in caves, and 
when wives spread couches of leaves and beast-skins 
on the mountain-side. But know you not that since 
the Silver Age came in adultery has been all the 
vogue? Are you actually thinking of making a 
marriage contract and presenting an engagement 
ring ? By what Fury are you possessed ? Have you 
no halter by you? is there no high window from 
which you can take a leap ? (1-37.) 

And is Ursidius, once the most notorious of 
gallants, preparing to obey the Julian law and to 
rear an heir ? ready to forgo all the turtles and 
mullets and other dainties which his childlessness 
now brings him in ? Bleed the simpleton, ye doctors, 
if he thinks he can find a virtuous wife ; if he finds 
one, let him sacrifice a heifer with gilded horns 
to Juno ! Why, nowadays a wife would sooner be 
contented with one eye than with one husband ! 

Can you, m all the tiers of the circus or the 
theatre, find a single honest woman ? Women love 
the stage ; if you marry a wife it will be to make a 
father of some harpist or flute-player. Or perhaps, 
like Eppia, the Senator's wife, she will run off to 
Egypt with a gladiator, leaving home and husband 
and sister, and brave all the perils of the deep. 
Had her husband bidden her go on board a ship, she 
would have deemed it an act of cruelty ; no woman 
has boldness but for acts of shame ! (60-135.) 



If a husband believes in his wife's virtue, it is 
because of the dowry that she has brought him ; the 
Cupid that inflamed him was in her money-bags ! 
If he love her for her beauty, she will lord it over 
him as long as that lasts, and ruin him by her 
extravagance ; once her charms are faded, he will 
put her to the door. If, again, she be virtuous, 
comely, rich, fertile, and high-born, what husband 
can endure a woman who is all perfection, and is for 
ever casting her high qualities in his teeth ? Away 
with your high ancestry, Cornelia ! away with your 
Hannibal, your Syphax, and your Carthage ! Re- 
member the fate of Niobe ! (136-183.) 

How nauseous is the female habit of using Greek 
for every act and circumstance of life ! Women now 
do everything, even their loves, in Greek. You 
might forgive it in a girl ; but what can be more 
revolting than to hear Greek terms of endearment 
in the mouth of an old woman ? (184-199.) 

If you marry without love, why marry at all ? 
Why be at the expense of a marriage-feast and all 
the other costs of matrimony ? If you are really 
and truly in love with your wife, then bow your 
head submissively to the yoke. She will take full 
toll of you ; she will rejoice in stripping you bare ; 
she will do all your buying and your selling for you ; 
she will show your old friends to the door, and make 
you leave legacies to her lovers. She will crucify 
your slaves for little or no offence ; if you expos- 



tulate, and plead for delay, she will tell you " It is 
my will ; the thing must be done ! " In the end 
she will leave you, and wear out her veil in other 
bridals. What think you of one who ran through 
eight husbands in five seasons ? (200-230.) 

No hope of peace so long as your mother-in-law 
is alive. She rejoices to see you fleeced ; she helps 
her daughter in her intrigues, and teaches her to be 
like herself. 

Women are desperately litigious; never yet was 
there a lawsuit which did not have a woman at the 
bottom of it. If Manilia is not a defendant, she is a 
plaintiff; she instructs her learned counsel how to 
adjust his pleas. (231-245.) 

Then there is the athletic woman, with her 
wrappers and her ointments, her belts, greaves, and 
gauntlets; puffing and blowing all the time, she 
belabours a stump with wooden sword or shield ; and 
though her skin is so delicate that she must needs 
wear garments of silk, she goes through all the 
exercises, all the attitudes and postures, of the gym- 
nasium. What gladiator's wife would stoop to do 
the like ? (246-267.) 

The connubial couch is ever full of bickerings and 
reproaches : no sleep to be got there ! It is there that 
the wife assails her husband with the fury of a tigress 
that has lost her whelps ; she rakes up every imaginary 
grievance against him, and has always floods of tears 
at her command; he, poor fool, imagines they are 



tears of love. If she herself be caught in a delin- 
quency, she brazens it out : " We agreed/' says she, 
"that you should go your way and I mine." (268- 

Whence came all these monstrosities among us ? 
When Latian homes were poor and humble, when 
hands were hard with toil, when Hannibal was 
thundering at our gates, our homes were pure ; 
Roman virtue perished along with Roman poverty. 
Long peace and enervating riches have been our ruin, 
pouring all the corruptions of Rhodes, Miletus, and 
Tarentum into our city. Little wonder that Ave have 
deserted the simple rites of Numa and adopted the 
foul practices of the Good Goddess ! (286-351.) 

Ogulnia wishes to make a show at the games  
she hires a gown, a litter and followers, with a maid 
to run her messages ; she presents to some smooth- 
skinned athlete the last remnants of the family 
plate. Such women never think what their pleasures 
cost them ; men sometimes have an eye to economy, 
women never. (352-365.) 

If your wife have a taste for music, she will aban- 
don herself to the musicians ; her bejewelled fingers 
will for ever be strumming on their instruments; 
she offei-s wine and meal to Janus and to Vesta that 
her Pollio may win a crown of oak-leaves. You Gods 
must have much time upon your hands if you can 
listen to prayers like these ! (379-397.) 

Better that, however, than that your wife should 



be a busybody, running about the town and discuss- 
ing the news with generals, and in her husband's 
presence, unabashed ; she knows everything that is 
taking place in every corner of the globe ; she retails 
every scandal of the town ; she picks up the latest 
rumours at the city gates ; she knows what countries 
are being devastated by floods, what disasters comets 
are boding to the kings of Parthia and Armenia, and 
repeats her tales to every man and woman in the 
street. (398-412.) 

More terrible still is the termagant, who loves 
to lash her poor neighbours ; when a dog disturbs 
her slumbers, she orders the owner to be thrashed 
first, and then the dog. She enters the baths noisily 
by night, works at the dumbbells till she is wearied, 
and then submits herself to the bathman for massage. 
Meanwhile her famished guests have been wearying 
for their dinner ; when at last she arrives, she slakes 
her thirst with bumpers of Falernian, which soon 
find their way back on to the floor. (413-433.) 

No less of a nuisance is your learned lady, who 
discourses on poetry, and pits Homer and Virgil 
against each other. She outbawls all the rhetori- 
cians with her din ; she could unaided bring succour 
to the labouring moon. She lays down definitions 
like a philosopher ; she should tuck up her skirts 
half-leg high, sacrifice a pig to Silvanus, and take 
a penny bath ! 1 She knows all history, quotes 

i i.e. take a public bath along with the men. 



poets that I never heard of; she has every trick of 
speech at her fingers' ends, and will pull you up for 
the smallest slip in grammar. Take no such wife to 
your bosom ! (434-456.) 

Still more unbearable is the wealthy wife, who 
thinks that everything is permitted to her. Her 
neck, her ears, are resplendent with precious stones ; 
she plasters her face with bread-poultices and 
Poppaean pastes which stick to her husband's lips 
when he gives her a kiss. She never cares to look 
well at home ; it is for lovers only that a clean skin 
and Indian perfumes are reserved. In due time she 
washes off the layers with asses' milk, and the face 
can be recognised as a face instead of as a. sore ' 

If the husband has been neglectful, the maids 
will suffer for it ; the slightest fault will bring down 
a thrashing on them with whip or cane ; some women 
engage their floggers by the year. The lady mean- 
while is making up her face, or chatting with her 
friends, or examining a piece of embroidery, or 
reading the Gazette : not less cruel than Phalaris, 
she keeps her flogger at it all the time. If in a 
hurry to keep an assignation, she wreaks her ven- 
geance on her tirewoman with a thong of bull's hide 
for every curl out of place, while the second maid 
builds up the lofty erection on her head : so serious is 
the art of beautification ! so complicated the artistic 
structure ! Not a thought for the husband all this 



time ; he is only a little nearer to her than a next- 
door neighbour ; she heeds not what she costs him. 

Another is the prey of every superstition. In 
come the noisy crew of the frantic Bellona and 
the Good Goddess, clanging their cymbals ; they 
pay reverence to the huge emasculated priest ; to 
avert his prophecies of evil, she presents him with 
a hundred eggs, and some cast-off clothing : these 
carry off the threatened peril and purify her for 
the entire year. In winter-time she breaks the ice 
for a plunge into the Tiber, and then crawls with 
bleeding knees over the Campus Martius. At Io's 
bidding — for she believes that the Goddess herself 
holds commune with her — she would go on a 
pilgrimage to Egypt to bring water from Lake 
Meroe with which to besprinkle the shrine of Isis. 
She pays reverence to the dog-headed Anubis, with 
his close-cropped and linen-clad followers ; a fat 
goose and a thin cake will obtain absolution for all 
her peccadilloes from Osiris. (511-541.) 

Next comes a Jewish hag, leaving her basket 
and her hay, who whispers secrets into her ear, 
expounding the holy laws of her tribe : she inter- 
prets or invents dreams for the smallest of coins. 
An Armenian or Syrian soothsayer, manipulating a 
pigeon's liver, promises her a youthful lover, or the 
inheritance of some rich and childless man. He 
probes the entrails of a dog, sometimes even of a 



boy, committing a crime that he may himself turn 
informer. But most trusted of all is the Chaldaean, 
whose words come direct from the fount of Hammon 
— more especially if he have done something to 
deserve exile and narrowly escaped death. Your 
virtuous Tanaquil consults him about the too long 
delayed death of her mother or her uncle — having 
first enquired about your own death. Such a one 
knows nothing about the stars ; but beware of the 
woman in whose hand you see a well-thumbed 
almanack, and who claims to be an expert ; she 
is herself consulted, and regulates her whole life 
after the dictates of the occult science. Rich 
women consult a Phrygian or an Indian augur ; the 
poor woman looks for a diviner in the Circus, of 
whom she enquires whether she shall marry the 
tavern-keeper or the old-clothesman. (542-591.) 

Poor women will bear the pangs of childbirth ; but 
you will rarely find a woman lying-in who sleeps in 
a gilded bed. So potent are the draughts of the 
abortionist ! Hand the potion to her yourself, my man, 
and rejoice in the murder of your unborn children : 
you might otherwise find yourself the father of a 
blackamoor. If an heir be wanted for some great 
house, roguish Fortune knows where to look for one : 
she takes her stand by night at the foundling pool, 
dandles a chance infant in her arms, and spirits it 
away into some lordly house to become a Pontifex 
or a Priest of Mars ! (592-609.) 



Instructed by Thessalian witches, a wife will 
make her husband imbecile or raving mad with a 
magical love philtre: just as Caesonia's 1 potion 
robbed Nero's uncle of his senses. More guilty she 
than Agrippina : for Agrippina did but " send down 
to heaven " a slobbering dotard, whereas Caesonia's 
medicament slew knights and senators together, and 
turned the whole world upside down with fire and 
the sword. (610-626.) 

To kill a stepson is now thought quite in order ; 
beware, ye wards, if ye have wealth : keep an eye 
upon your stepmother's cakes, and 'let her cup be 
tasted before you put it to your lips. Do you sup- 
pose that I am telling mere idle tales, breathing 
forth mouthings like a tragedian ? Would to heaven 
it were so ! but just look at the case of Portia, who 
was caught in the act : " I did it," she confessed ; 
" with my own hands. I gave aconite to my boys." 
" What, you viper ? you slew two of them at one 
meal ? " " Ay ; and seven too had there been seven 
to slay ! " (627-642.) 

Tragedy, indeed, tells us of the crimes of Procne 
and the Colchian ; I seek not to deny them. But 
they sinned in wrath, not for filthy lucre's sake : 
what I cannot abide is the calculated crime, com- 
mitted calmly in cold blood. Women flock to see 
Alcestis dying for her husband ; but your modern 

1 Caesonia was Caligula's wife. Agrippina was supposed 
to have poisoned her uncle-husband Claudius, and so won for 
him divinity. 



woman would let her husband go to Hades if she 
could save her lapdog ! Daughters of Danaus 1 are 
to be found in plenty among us ; every street in 
Rome contains its Clytemnestra ; the only difference 
is that she made use of a clumsy two-bladed axe, 
while these women do the trick with the liver of a 
toad — and pei-haps with a knife, if their lord have 
fortified himself with antidotes ! (643-661.) 

The 7th Satire promises a good time for letters 
and learning from the expected patronage of the 
new emperor, and is mainly taken up with bewailing 
the miserable prospects of all the literary professions. 
The good old days of patronage are gone ; the 
wealthy pay no respect to letters, or assist them only 
in ways that involve no cost to themselves ; the only 
patronage worth having nowadays is the favour of a 
popular play-actor. The poet, the historian, the 
advocate, the rhetorician, the grammarian — all have 
the same tale of neglect and poverty to tell, whereas 
singers and jockeys are splendidly rewarded. The 
teacher's profession, which is the noblest, and the 
most deserving of respect, of all the professions, 
fares worst of all ; there is no money that a father 
grudges so much as that spent in the education of 
his son. 

The 8th Satire is an attack upon pride of birth. 
Though there is no one who has more respect for the 

1 i.e. wives who murder their husbands. 


blood of the great old Roman houses than Juvenal 
himself, he discourses eloquently on the theme 
nobilitas sola est atque unica virtus. No man, no animal, 
can be called high-born whose breeding is not pro- 
claimed by the possession of high qualities. A man 
must stand or fall by his own qualities, not by 
those of his ancestors. Be a stout soldier, an honest 
guardian, and an impartial arbiter ; prefer honour to 
life ; if called to govern a province, be just and 
tender-hearted to the provincials. If your wife be 
blameless, and you have no corrupt favourite in your 
suite, you may trace your lineage to the loftiest 
source you please ; but if you are carried headlong 
by ambition, lust and cruelty, the noble blood of 
your ancestors rises up in judgment against you, and 
throws a dazzling light upon your misdeeds. What 
think you of the noble Lateranus, who drives his 
own chariot along the public way unabashed, and 
frequents low taverns, where he consorts with 
thieves, coffin-makers, and cut-throats? And what 
are we to say of a Damasippus or a Lentulus, who 
hire out their voices to the stage ? — though, indeed, 
who might not be a mime when an emperor has 
turned lutist ? — and worse still, have we not seen 
the noble Gracchus in the arena, not fighting with 
helm and shield and sword, but with a trident and 
a net in his hand ? See how he has missed his cast, 
and lifts his face for all to see as he flies along the 
arena ! Orestes, you say, was a parricide, like Nero ; 


JUV- « 


but Orestes slew no wife, no sister : he never sang 
upon the stage, he never wrote an epic upon Troy ! 
And of all his crimes, which deserved greater punish- 
ment than that ? 

Whose blood could be nobler than that of Catiline 
or Cethegus ? Yet they conspired to destroy the 
city ; and it was the plebeian Cicero that preserved it. 
The plebeian Marius saved her from the Cimbri and 
the Teutones ; the plebeian Decii saved our legions 
from the hosts of Latium ; and the best king of Rome 
was a slave-girl's son. 

The 9 th Satire deals with a disgusting offence, one of 
the main sources of corruption in the ancient world. 

The 10th Satire has been often called Juvenal's 
masterpiece ; it has had the honour of being para- 
phrased by Johnson in his " Vanity of Human 
Wishes," and it has all the merits of a full-blown 
rhetorical declamation. It has some magnificent 
descriptions, especially that of the fall of the favourite 
Sejanus. But it is a profoundly depressing and 
pessimistic poem. Except in the last few lines, 
there is not a word of hope or encouragement for 
the ordinary human being ; no sense that any kind 
of life can be worth living ; not one word of counter- 
poise to the long, dismal catalogue of human failures; 
no suggestion that in great lives which have ended 
in disaster there may have been moments of noble 



action, high endeavour and inspiration. The de- 
scription of old age is revolting in its minuteness, 
and it is not relieved by a single touch of sympathy 
or kindliness. The text of the whole is 

Quid tarn dextro pede concipis ut te 
Conatus non paeniteat votique peracii ? 

Our wishes, our prayers, are all equally vain. If 
you lust for riches, think of the fate of a Lateranus, 
a Seneca, or a Longinus ; even in days of primitive 
simplicity, man's follies provoked the tears of Hera- 
cleitus and the laughter of Democritus. Some men 
are brought to ruin by their lust of place and 
power, like Pompey, the Crassi, and Sejanus ; others, 
like Cicero and Demosthenes, by the fatal gift of 
eloquence. The glories of war end in misery and 
disaster — look at the calamitous ends of Hannibal, 
of Xerxes, and Alexander ! Men pray for long life ; 
but old age does but bring with it a host of miseries 
and infirmities, ending in the loss of reason. What 
calamities had Nestor, Peleus, and Priam to go 
through because of their length of days! What 
disasters would have been escaped by Marius and 
Pompey, what glory might not have been theirs, 
had they died earlier ! 

The loving mother prays that her children may 
have beauty ; but when did modesty and beauty go 
together ? The fair maiden, the fair youth, live in 
a world of peril and of snares. Hippolytus and 

juv. e 2 


Bellerophon warn us that even purity has its dangers; 
and what was the end of the fair and high-born youth 
who became a victim to the passion of Messalina ? 

Better leave it to the Gods to determine what is 
best for you and for your state ; man is dearer to 
them than he is to himself. But if you must needs 
pray for something, ask for things which you can 
give yourself: ask for a stout heart that fears not 
death ; ask for power to endure ; ask for a heart that 
knows not anger and desire, and deems that all the 
woes of Hercules are better than the soft cushions 
of Sardanapalus. These things you can bestow on 
yourself, and snap your fingers at the strokes of 
Fortune ! 

The 11th Satire consists of two parts. It begins 
with an account of the folly of gourmands of slender 
means, who ruin themselves for the pleasures of the 
table, forgetful of the golden rule yvwOi aeavrov, which 
warns a man to know his tether, in finance as well as 
in other things, and not buy a mullet when he has 
only a gudgeon in his purse (1-55). This serves as 
a prelude to the second part of the Satire, in which 
the poet invites his friend Persicus to a genial but 
simple feast, the delicacies of which are to be fur- 
nished from the homely produce of his Tiburtine 
farm — such a feast as was served on simple ware to 
resale the consuls and dictators of the olden time. 
There will be no rich plate no costly furniture, no 



silver, no handles of ivory, no professional carver, no 
Phrygian or Lycian Ganymede to hand you your cup. 
Two simple country-clad lads will serve the table; 
no wanton dancing girls will be provided for your 
entertainment ; only Homer and Virgil will be 
read. And our enjoyment will be all the greater 
that we can hear the roars of the circus in the 
distance, and hug ourselves in the delights of a rare 
and peaceful holiday (56-208). 

In his 1 2th Satire Juvenal celebrates the narrow 
escape from shipwreck of his friend Catullus. A 
terrible storm had compelled him to cut away the 
mast and to throw overboard all the treasures of his 
cargo. But at length the storm abates, and Catullus 
with his crew arrive safe and sound in the new 
Ostian harbour. Juvenal then offers a sacrifice of 
thanksgiving for his friend's safety— no mercenary 
offering this for a rich and childless friend, seeing 
that Catullus has three little sons of his own. This 
leads the poet to have his fling at the wiles of legacy- 
hunters, some of whom would be ready to sacrifice a 
hecatomb of elephants (if elephants were to be had), 
or even to offer an Iphigenia of their own, in order 
to secure a place in a rich man's will. 

The elephant passage is singularly cumbrous and 
out of place. 

The 13th is the noblest of Juvenal's Satires. It 
takes the form of a consolatory epistle to Calvinus, 



who has been defrauded of a sum of ten thousand 
sesterces by the dishonesty of the friend to whom it 
had been entrusted. In offering him consolation, 
the poet not only uses all the arguments of robust 
common sense, but also in his concluding passages 
he may be said to reach the high-water mark of 
pre-Christian ethics : there is at least one notable 
pronouncement which seems to breathe the very 
spirit of the Gospel. 

Every guilty deed brings its own punishment along 
Avith it ; no guilty man can escape at the bar of 
his own conscience. Your loss is one of every-day 
occurrence ; has experience not taught you to bear 
the smallest of misfortunes ? Crime of every kind 
is rampant amongst us ; honest men are not more 
numerous than the mouths of the Nile ; it is mere 
simplicity to expect any man nowadays to abstain 
from perjury. In the days of Saturn, before the 
heavens were crowded with their present mob of 
divinities : in the days when youth stood up to 
reverence old age, dishonesty was a marvel to be 
wondered at ; but in these days, if a man acknow- 
ledges a trust, and restores the purse entrusted to 
him, I deem him a prodigy. I liken him to a shower 
of stones, or to a pregnant mule, or to a river running 
white with milk. What if some other man have 
lost ten times as much as you? So easy is it to 
escape the notice of heaven if no man be privy to 
the guilty deed ! Some men disbelieve in divine 



wrath ; others believe in it, but will take the risk, 
provided they can secure the cash : punishment 
they argue, may perhaps never come after all ! 
Granted that loss of money is the greatest of human 
calamities, what right have you to deem yourself 
outside the common lot of man, as though hatched 
from a white and lucky egg? Look at the list 
of crimes daily brought before the Court and dare 
to call yourself unfortunate ! Who wonders at a 
swollen neck in the Alps, or at blue eyes and yellow 
hair in a German ? 

But is the perjured wretch to go unpunished? 
you ask. Well, if the man's life were taken, that 
would not bring back your money'; and when you 
tell me that vengeance is sweeter than life itself, 
I tell you that none think so but the ignorant, and 
that of all pleasures vengeance is the meanest. You 
may judge of it by this, that no one so delights in it 
as a woman ! 

But why fancy that such men escape punishment 
when conscience is for ever wielding its unseen 
unheard lash over their guilty souls ? What punish- 
ment of Caedicius or Rhadamanthus can be so terrible 
as that of having to carry one's own accusing witness 
by day and by night, within one's breast? Truly 
spoke the Pythian oracle when it condemned the man 
who returned a deposit, not for conscience' sake, but 
from fear ; for the man who meditates a crime within 
his heart has all the guiltiness of the deed. If he 



accomplishes the deed, he is never free from anguish ; 
the choicest viands, the finest wines, offend his taste ; 
when his tossed limbs at length sink to rest, he has 
visions of the temple and the altar by which he has 
forsworn himself ; your image, larger than life, rises 
up before him and compels him to confess. These 
are the men who tremble at every lightning-flash ; 
they believe that every rumbling in the sky, every 
sickness they have, is a sign of the wrath of heaven 
and betokens future punishment. And yet they will 
not mend their ways ; what man was ever content 
with a single sin ? So you may take comfort from 
this: your enemy will sin once again, and more openly: 
his fate will be ' the prison or the halter ; you will 
rejoice in his punishment, and enjoy your vengeance 
after all ! 

The theme of the 14th Satire is that parental 
example is the most potent of educational instru- 
ments. The father who gambles, or gormandises, or 
cruelly abuses his slaves, is instructing his son in his 
own vices ; the mother who has paramours teaches 
her daughter to be unfaithful ; clothed with parental 
authority, such examples cannot be resisted. Let 
fathers therefore see to it that no foul sight be seen, 
no foul word be heard, within their doors ; let them 
respect their child's tender years, let their infant son 
forbid the meditated sin. 

When you expect a guest, your household are set 



to work to clean and scrub, that no foul spot maj 
offend the stranger's eye : and will you not bestir 
yourself that your son may see nothing but what is 
pure and spotless within his home ? The stork, the 
vulture, the eagle all follow in the ways pointed out 
to them in the parental nest. Cretonius half ruined 
himself by building ; his son completed the ruin by 
building grander and more sumptuous mansions. 
If the father keeps the Sabbath, the son will carry 
his superstition further still ; he will flout the laws 
of Rome, and observe the secret rites and practices 
of Moses. 

The one and only vice which the young practise 
unwillingly is that of avarice, since it has a spurious 
appearance of virtue. Hence fathers take double 
pains, both by precept and example, to instil the 
love of money into their sons ; they practise the 
meanest economies that they may be wealthy when 
they die. Our hardy ancestors, broken by wounds 
and years, deemed themselves happy with a reward 
of two acres, which to-day would not be thought big 
enough for a garden. In the hurry to be rich no law 
is regai-ded, no crime stops the way. Foreign purple 
has banished the hardy contentment of the old 
Marsian and Hernican heroes, and opened the door 
to every villainy. When the father bids his son rise 
at midnight to seek for gain, telling him that lucre 
smells sweet whatever the source from which it 
comes, he is instructing him to cheat, to cozen, and 



to forswear himself; ay, and the disciple will soon 
outstrip his teacher. 

It is as good as a play to watch how men will 
brave perils of storm and tempest to increase their 
pile of cash ; not for mere livelihood, like the rope- 
dancer, but just to store up little pieces of gold and 
silver stamped with tiny images ! Such a man is fit 
only for a mad-house ; one day the storm will engulf 
his goods, and he will have to support himself by 
a painted shipwreck. 

To guard great riches is as burdensome a task as 
to acquire them ; better be lodged like Diogenes, 
who, if his tub were broken, could have it mended 
or replaced to-morrow. If you ask how much money 
should suffice, I would bid you have enough to keep 
out cold and hunger ; add as much as would make 
up the fortune of a knight ; if that be too beggarly, 
make it double, or treble the amount : if that suffice 
you not, then will not your soul be satisfied with all 
the wealth of Croesus or Narcissus ! 

The 15th Satire gives an account of a fierce fight 
between the inhabitants of two neighbouring town- 
ships in Egypt, Ombi and Tentyra. In the course 
of the battle a fleeing Tentyrite slipped and fell ; 
his body was at once torn into pieces and devoured 
by the- bloodthirsty Ombites. Juvenal furiously 
denounces the crime ; and it gives him the opportu- 
nity, in a beautiful and pathetic passage, of declaring 



that the tenderness of heart evinced by the capacity 
to shed tears is the noblest and most beautiful of the 
characteristics of man ; it is the power of sympathy 
between man and man that has built up all the 
elements of human civilisation. 

The 16th Satire, which is only half-finished, is 
taken up with recounting the various privileges 
enjoyed by the military. No civilian can get justice 
against a soldier ; and soldiers have special privileges 
in regard to property. 

The MSS. of Juvenal 

The text on which this translation is mainly based 
is that of Biicheler's edition of 1893. That text 
had the merit of giving the first complete account 
of the readings of P (the Codex Pithoeanus), the most 
important and best of all the MSS. of Juvenal. 

Since then, however, has appeared the notable 
critical edition of Professor Housman (1905), who, 
without contesting the general superiority of P over 
the multitude of interpolated MSS., has shown that 
it cannot be accepted as a sole and infallible guide. 
He protests vigorously against the indolent style of 
criticism which, having discovered one MS. to be the 
best available, sticks to it through thick and thin 
without exercising an independent judgment upon 
it, and accepts, almost blindfold, any reading pre- 



sented by that MS. which is not absolutely im- 
possible. In the case of Juvenal, Professor Housman 
proposes to arrest the current by which the text 
of each succeeding edition of Juvenal stands closer 
to that of P, and produces much solid evidence to 
show that, in many cases, the readings of P, even 
when possible both in Latinity and in sense, will not 
stand criticism, and that the readings of other MSS. 
are to be preferred to them. 

The Pithoeanus is by no means a very ancient 
MS. It dates from the end of the ninth century, 
having been first used by P. Pithoeus in the year 
1585. It was lost for a long time, but was re- 
discovered in the middle of the nineteenth centurv 
and first published by Otto Jahn in his edition of 
1851. It contains many corrections by later hands, 
designated by the letter p ; these corrections are 
mostly of little value, being derived from one or 
other of the host of interpolated MSS. known 
generally under the title of w. Professor Housman 
goes so far as to assert that p should be quoted for 
one purpose and for one purpose only, to enable us 
to judge what the reading of P was not. 

Shortly put, the description of the MSS. of Juvenal 
given by Professor Housman is as follows : — 

The great merit of P is that it has escaped, almost 
entirely, the deluge of interpolation which has 
flooded the great majority of Juvenalian MSS., but 
it is not itself entirely free from corruption. One 



source of corruption is that its original readings have 
been often corrected by later hands from the tenth 
century onwards. These corrections, indicated by 
the letter p, are for the most part taken from 
one or other of the mass of inferior interpolated 
MSS., but their faults can sometimes be repaired 
from other sources which are more closely allied to 
P itself. 

Apart from P and the host of interpolated MSS. 
stand three important fragmentaiy sources, viz. : 
(1) Scidae Arovienses, consisting of five leaves found 
at Aarau in 1880 ; (2) the Florilegium Sangallense ; 
(3) third, and most important, are the lemmata of 
the ancient scholia, which often contain the correct 
reading of P which has been corrupted in the text 

Over against P and its small cluster of kinsfolk 
stand the several hundreds of Juvenal's vulgar MSS. 
dating from the ninth century to the sixteenth, 
infected one and all with a plague of interpolation 
from which P and its fellows are exempt. Halfway 
between the two camps (older than P, and not 
much interpolated) lies a considerable fragment, the 
Codex Vindobonensis of the ninth century, contain- 
ing i. 1 to ii. 59 and ii. 107 to v. 96. After these 
Professor Housman selects seven MSS. of the inter- 
polated class, which he calls A, F, G, L, O, T, U, 
and from which a true reading or its traces are occa- 
sionally to be found. To these MSS. collectively he 



gives the name of \f/, and as a result of his examina- 
tion of them he has pointed out a number of passages 
in which the true reading is to be found in one or 
more of these MSS., and as many more in which 
their readings are to be preferred to those of P. 
For conspicuous instances of mistakes made by P in 
verbal forms see ix. 41, x. 312, xi. 184, xiv. 113. 

Apart from all other MSS. stands the fragment, 
the palimpsestus Bobie?isis now in the Vatican. It is 
assigned to the end of the fourth century, and 
contains xiv. 324-xv. 43. It sometimes agrees with 
P, sometimes with other MSS. 

Lastly come the ancient Scholia called 2, and 
preserved in P. They are very old and often indi- 
cate a true reading not in the MSS. 1 

In the year 1910, Dr. Frederick Leo brought out 
a fifth edition of Biicheler's text not differing much 
from the edition of 1893 except by recognising for 
the first time the genuineness of the passage in 
Sat. vi. (O 1-34, coming immediately after line 365) 
discovered in the Bodleian MS. by Mr. E. O. Win- 
stedt in the year 1899. The more important of the 
changes introduced by Dr. Leo are mentioned in the 
critical notes. 

1 The above description of the MSS. of Juvenal is ab- 
breviated from Professor Housman's Introduction, pp. vii to 
xi ; see also pp. xvii sqq. and xxii sqq. 



The MSS. of Persius 

The text of Persius is in a much better condition 
than that of Juvenal ; Mr. S. G. Owen declares that 
it is probably purer than that of any other Roman 
writer, and stands in no need of the art of con- 
jecture. 1 Amid a multitude of MSS. three stand 
out of conspicuous merit ; the Montpellier, 212 (A) ; 
the Vatican, H. 36 (B) ; and the Montpellier, 125 
(P), also known by the name Pithoeanus, being 
the same MS. which contains also the whole of 

Of these three MSS., all dating from the nintb 
century, A and B are so closely allied that they are 
evidently drawn from a common source. The sign 
a denotes the agreement of these two MSS. 

Where A and P differ, Biicheler, in his edition of 
1893, gives the superiority to P ; Dr. F. Leo, in the 
4th edition (1910), calls in the assistance of the 
Laurentian MS. 37. 19 (L), of the eleventh century, 
which occasionally preserves the true reading where 
both A and P are manifestly wrong (e.g. perona- 
lus, v. 102; crasso, vi. 40; ritu, vi. 59; exit, vi. 68). 
L shares some corruptions with P, and some with 
a ; but on the whole it is more closely allied to a. 

Most ancient of all is the Fragmentum Bobiense of 
the fourth century, which contains Pers. i. 53-104, 
and Juv. xiv. 323-xv. 43. 

1 Preface to his edition of Persius and Juvenal, Clarendon 
Press, 1907. 



Owen takes P as his first authority ; he follows 
A B P when they agree, and prefers P when they 
disagree, correcting palpable mistakes from A B. 
Owen adds to his list Oxoniensis, in the Bodleian 
Library (O) of the tenth century, and Cantabri- 
giensis, in the Trinity College Library O. iv. 10 (T), 
which is also of the tenth century. 

The editions of Juvenal are innumerable. Those 
which I have found the most useful are the 
following : — 

G. A. Ruperti, 1801 and 1825. 

C. F. Heinrich, 1839. 

Dr. Stocker (including Persius), 1845. 

Otto Jahn, 1851 ; re-edited by Biicheler (including 

Persius) in 1886, 1893, and by F. Leo in 1910. 
Prof. J. E. B. Mayor, 1853 ; enlarged in 1869, etc. 
A. J. Macleane (including Persius), 1857. 
G. A. Simcox {Catena Classicorum), 1867. 
J. D. Lewis (with translation), 1879. 
Pearson and Strong, Clarendon Press, 1887 and 1892. 
L. Friedlander, 1895. 
J. D. Duff, 1898 and 1914. 
A. E. Housman, critical edition, 1905. 

Valuable books on Juvenal and Persius are the 
following : — 

H. Nettleship, Lectures and Essays, Second Series, 

1895, Arts. II. and V. 
Friedlander, Sittengeschichte Iioms, 1869. 



Tyrrell, Latin Poetry, pp. 216-259. 

H. E. Butler, Post-Augustan Poetry, 1900, pp. 79-96, 

and 287-320. 
C. Martha, Les Moralistes sous I' Empire Romain, 

A. Vidal, Juvenal et ses Satires, 1869. 
Merivale's History of the Romans under the Empire, 

Vol. VII., Chap. lxiv. 
S. Dill, Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius, 

1904, Chap. ii. ' 
Smith's Classical Dictionaries. 

As might be expected Avith such popular authors, 
Juvenal and Persius have been frequently trans- 
lated, and into many, languages. The most famous 
translations of both authors into English verse are 
the quaint version of Holyday (1673) and the 
vigorous and scholarly version of Gifford (1802), 
which may still be read with pleasure. Dryden has 
translated five of Juvenal's Satires, and the whole 
of Persius, into the true Drydenic style ; and 
Johnson has achieved immortality by his inimitable 
translation — or rather paraphrase — of Sat. hi., under 
the title London, and of Sat. x., under the title The 
Vanity of Human Wishes. Of prose translations of 
Juvenal especial mention may be made of the trans- 
lation of thirteen Satires (omitting ii, vi, and ix) by 
S. G. Owen (Clarendon Press, 1903), of the same 
by Strong and Leeper (Macmillan, 1882), also a re- 
vised version by Mr. Leeper alone (Macmillan, 1912), 



and of that by Mr. J. D. Lewis (1879). Mr. S. H. 
Jeyes has translated the whole of the sixteen Satires 
(1885), as also the Rev. S. Evans (1869) (Bonn's 

Of the numerous editions of Persius the most 
famous is the great Classical Edition of Isaac 
Casaubon (Paris, 1605), which has been often re- 
printed, and which has served as a groundwork of 
all subsequent editions of the poet. Among later 
editions may especially be mentioned those of G. L. 
Koenig (1803^ and 1825); Otto Jahn (1843), in- 
cluded with Juvenal in the edition re-edited by 
Biicheler and Leo; C. F. Heinrich (1844); A. J. 
Macleane (along with Juvenal) (1857) ; above ail 
that of J. Conington (1872); and A. Pretor (Catena 
Classicorum) (1868). 

In translating Persius I have paidthe greatest atten- 
tion to the well-known translation of J. Conington, 
Corpus Professor of Latin in the University of Oxford, 
which is by far the best existing version of that 



Bob. =codicis Bobiensia, Vaticani 5750, fragmentum. 

P = codex Pithoeanus, Montepessulanus 125. 

p = codicis Pithoeani corrector. 
Arou.=scidae Arouienses. 
flor Sang. = codicis Sangallensis 870 florilegium. , 

S = lemmata scholiorum in P et Sang. 870 aeruatorum. 
Vind. =codex Vindobonensis 107, mutilus. 

¥= codices AFGLOTU vel eorum plures. 
A = codex Monacensis 408. 
F= codex Parisiensis 8071. 
G = codex Parisiensis 7900*. 
L= codex Leidensis 82. 

= codex Canonicianus class. Lat. 41, Bodleianus. 
T= codex O, IV, 10 collegii Trinitatis, Cantabrigi. 

U= codex Vrbinas 661, Vaticanus. 
5 = scholiastes in P et Sang. 870 seruatus. 



P = codex Montepessulanus 125. 
A = codex Montepessulanus 212. \ 

B = codex Vaticanus tabularii basilicae H 36 / 
L = codex Laurentianus 37, 19. 

P 1 ? 2 distinguit librarium a correctore, P d scripturam 

ab ipso librario correctam significat. item da 

E = folium Bobiense (1,53—104). 
<p = codices alii vetusti, f recentas. 
scb. =scbolion. 






Semper ego auditor tantum ? numquamne reponam 
vexatus totiens rauci Theseide Cordi ? 
inpune ex-go mihi recitaverit ille togatas, 
hie elegos ? inpune diem consumpserit ingens 
Telephus aut summi plena iam margine libri 5 

scriptus et in tergo necdum finitus Orestes ? 
nota magis nulli domus est sua quam mihi lucus 
Martis et Aeoliis vicinum rupibus antrum 
Vulcani. Quid agant venti, quas torqueat umbras 
Aeacus, unde alius furtivae devehat aurum 10 

pelliculae, quantas iaculetur Monychus ornos, 
Frontonis platani convulsaque marmora clamant 
semper et adsiduo ruptae lectore columnae : 
expectes eadem a summo minimoque poeta. 
et nos ergo manum ferulae subduximus, et nos 15 

1 An epic poem. 2 Names of tragedies. 
3 One of the judges in Hades. 4 Jason. 
6 A Centaur, alluding to the battle between the Centaurs 
and the Lapithae. 





What? Am I to be a listener only all mx dgIL'' 
Ani I never to get my word i n— J that have been so 
often bored uy tiie ineseid 1 of the ranting Cordus ? 
Shall this one have spouted to me his comedies, and 
that one his love ditties, and I be unavenged ? Shall 
I have no revenge on one who has taken up the 
whole day with an interminable Telephus, 2 or with 
an Orestes, 2 which, after filling the margin at the top 
of the roll and the back as well, hasn't even yet 
come to an end ? No one knows his own house so 
well as I know the groves of Mars, and the cave of 
Vulcan near the cliffs of Aeolus. What the winds 
are brewing ; whose souls Aeacus 3 has on the rack ; 
from what country another worthy 4 is carrying off 
that stolen golden fleece ; how big are the ash trees 
which Monychus 5 tosses about : these are the themes 
with which Fronto's 6 plane trees and marble halls 
are for ever ringing until the pillars quiver and 
quake under the continual recitations ; such is the 
kind of stuff you may look for from every poet, 
greatest or least. Well, I too have slipped my hand 
from under the cane ; I too have counselled Sulla to 

' A rich patron who lends his house for recitations. 

B 2 


consilium dedimus Sullae, privatus ut altuin 

dormiret ; stulta est dementia,, cum tot ubique 

vatibus occurras, periturae parcere chavtae. 

cur tamen hoc potius libeat decurrere campo 

per quern magnus equos Auruncae flexit alumnus, 20 

si vacat ac placidi rationem admittitis, edam. 

Cum tener uxorem ducat spado, Mevia Tuscum 
figat aprum et nuda teneat venabula mamma, 
patricios omnis opibus cum provocet unus 
quo tondente gravis iuveni mihi barba sonabat, 25 
cum pars Niliacae plebis, cum verna Canopi 
Crispinus Tyrias umero revocante lacernas 
ventilet aestivum digitis sudantibus aurum, 
nee sufferre queat maioris pondera gemmae, 
difficile est saturam non scribere. nam quis 

tam patiens urbis, tarn ferreus, ut teneat se, 
causidici nova cum veniat lectica Mathonis 
plena ipso, post hunc magni delator amici 
et cito rapturus de nobilitate comesa 
quod superest, quern Massa timet, quern munere 

palpat 1 35 

Cams et a trepido Thymele summissa Latino ? 
cum te summoveant qui testamenta mejentur ^ 
noctibus, 2 in caelum quos eveliit optima summi 
nunc via processus, vetulae vesica beatae ? 

1 palpat is omitted by P. 

1 noctibus Vind.^ : non tibi P. 

i Referring to the retirement of Sulla from public life in 
b c. 79. Such themes would be prescribed to schoolboys as 
rhetorical exercises, of the kind called suasoriae. See Mayor s 
n. and Sat. vii. 150-170. 

2 Lucilius, the first Roman satirist, B C. 14b-lUrf. 

3 Some barber who had made a fortune. The line is 
repeated in x. 226. 


retire from public life and sleep his fill l ; it is a 
foolish clemency when you jostle against poets at 
every corner, to spare paper that will be wasted 
anyhow. But if you can give me time, and will listen 
quietly to reason, I will tell you why I prefer to run 
in the same course over which the great nursling of 
Aurunea 2 drove his steeds. 

22 When a soft eunuch takes to matrimony, ana 
Maevia, with spear in hand and breasts exposed, to 
pig-sticking ; when a fellow under whose razor my 
stiff youthful beard used to grate 3 challenges, with 
his single wealth, the whole nobility ; when a gutter- 
snipe of the Nile like Crispinus 4 -a slave-born 
denizen of Canopus 5 — hitches a Tyrian cloak on to 
his shoulder, whilst on his sweating finger he airs a 
summer ring of gold, unable to endure the weight of 
a heavier gem^jj^ js hard not to write satire. . For 
who can be so tolerant of this monstrous city, w ho 
so iron of soul, as to contain himself when the brand- 
new litter of lawyer Matho comes along, filled with 
his huge self; after him one who has informed 
against his noble patron and will soon sweep away the 
remnant of our nobility already gnawed to the bone- 
one whom Massa 6 dreads, whom Carus propitiates by 
a bribe, and to whom Thymele 7 was sent as envoy by 
the terrified Latinus ; 7 when you are thrust on one 
side by men who earn legacies by nightly perform- 
ances, uiid are raised to heaven by that now royal 
road to high preferment— the favours of an aged 
and wealthy woman ? Each of the lovers will have 

4 A favourite aversion of Juvenal's as a rich Egyptian 
parvenu who had risen to be princeps equitum. See iv 
1, 31, 108. 5 A city in the Nile Delta. 

* Notorious informers under Doniitian. 

' Both actors : the allusion is not known. 



unciolam Proculeius habet, sed Gillo deuncem, 40 
partes quisque suas ad mensuram inguinis heres. 
accipiat sane mercedem sanguinis, et sic 
palleat ut nudis pressit qui calcibus anguem 
aut Lugudunensem rhetor dicturus ad aram. 

Quid refei-arn quanta siccum iecur ardeat ira, 45 
cum populum gregibus comitum premit hie spoliator 
pupilli prostantis et hie damnatus inani 
iudicio ? quid enim salvis infamia nummis ? 
exul ab octava Marius bibit et fruitur dis 
iratiSj at tu victrix pi'ovincia ploras. 50 

Haec ego non credam Venusina digna lucerna ? 
haec ego non agitem ? sed quid magis Heracleas 
aut Diomedeas aut mugitum labyrinth i 
et mare percussum puero fabrumque volantem, 
cum leno accipiat moechi bona, si capiendi 55 

ius nullum uxori, doctus spectare lacunar, 
doctus et ad calicem vigilanti stertere naso ? 
cum fas esse putet curam sperare cohortis 
qui bona donavit praesepibus et caret omni 
maiorum censu, dum pervolat "axe citato 60 

Flaminiam puer Automedon ? nam lora tenebat 
ipse, lacernatae cum se iactaret amicae. 

1 Alluding to a rhetorical contest instituted at Lyons by 
Caligula (Suet. Cal 20). Severe and humiliating punishments 
were inflicted on those defeated in these contests. 

2 Condemned for extortion in Africa in a.d. 100. 


his share ; Proculeius a twelfth part, Gillo eleven 
parts, each in proportion to the magnitude of his 
services. Let each take the price of his own blood, 
and turn as pale as a man who has trodden upon 
a snake bare-footed, or of one who awaits his turn 
to orate before the altar at Lugdunum. 1 

45 Why tell how my heart burns hot with rage 
when I see the people hustled by a mob of retainers 
attending on one who has defrauded and debauched 
his ward, or on another who has been condemned by 
a futile verdict — for what mattei's infamy if the cash 
be kept? The exiled Marius 2 carouses from the 
eighth hour of the day and revels in the wrath of 
Heaven, while you, poor Province, win your cause 
and weep ! 

51 JVIust I not deem these things worthy of the 
Venusian's ^ lam p? Must I no t have my fling at them ? 
Should I do better to tell tales about Hercules, or Dio- 
mede, or the bellowing in the Labyrinth, or about the 
flying carpenter 4 and the lad 5 who splashed into 
the sea ; and that in an age when the compliant 
husband, if his wife may not lawfully inherit, 6 
takes money from her paramour, being well trained 
to keep his eyes upon the ceiling, or to snore with 
wakeful nose over his cups ; an age when one who 
has squandered his family fortunes upon horse flesh 
thinks it right and proper to look for the command 
of a cohort ? See him dashing at break-neck speed, 
like a very Automedon, 7 along the Flaminian way, 
holding the reins himself, while he shows himself off 
to his great-coated mistress ! 

3 Horace was born at Venusia B.C. 65. 

4 Daedalus. 5 Icarus. 
i.e. be legally incapacitated from taking an inheritance. 


7 The charioteer of Achilles. 


Nonne libet medio ceras inplere capaces 
quadrivio, cum iam sexta cervice feratur 
hinc atque inde patens ac nuda paene cathedra 65 
et multum i-eferens de Maecenate supino 
signator falsi/ qui se lautum atque beatum 
exiguis tabulis et gemma fecerit uda ? 

Occurrit matrona potens, quae molle Calenum 
porrectura viro miscet sitiente rubetam 70 

instituitque rudes melior Lucusta propinquas 
per famam et populum nigros efferre maritos. 
aude aliquid brevibus Gyaris et carcere dignum, 
si vis esse aliquid ; probitas laudatur et alget. 
criminibus debent hortos praetoria mensas, 75 

argentum vetus et stantem extra pocula caprum. 
quern patitur dormire nurus corruptor avarae, 
quern sponsae turpes et praetextatus adulter ? 
si natura negat, facit indignatio versum 
qualemcumque potest, quales ego vel Cluvienus. 80 

Ex quo Deucalion\nimbis tollentibus aequor, 
navigio montem ascendit sortesque poposcit, 
paulatimque anima caluerunt mollia saxa 
et maribus nudas ostendit Pyrrha puellas, 
quidquid agunt homines, votum timor ira voluptas 85 
gaudia discursus, nostri farrago libelli est. 

1 falsi P : /also \p. 

1 Calenian and Falernian were two of the most famous 
Roman wines. 

2 A notorious poisoner under Nero. 

3 A small island in the Aegean Sea on which criminals 
were confined. 



63 Would you not like to fill up a whole note-book 
at the street crossings when you see a forger borne 
along upon the necks of six porters, and exposed to 
view on this side and on that in his almost naked 
litter, and reminding you of the lounging Maecenas : 
one who by help of a scrap of paper and a moistened 
seal has converted himself into a fine and wealthy 

69 Then up comes a lordly dame who, when her 
husband wants a drink, mixes toad's blood with his 
old Calenian, 1 and improving upon Lucusta 2 herself, 
teaches her artless neighbours to brave the talk of 
the town and carry forth to burial the blackened 
corpses of their husbands. If yo u want to be any- 
body ^n owadays, you mu s£ dare Mtoe crim ethat 
mg ritrBanuw Qvam»-or~a~ gaol ; honesty is praised 
afiSCsiarves: It is to their crimes that men owe 
their pleasure-grounds and high commands, their fine 
tables and old silver goblets with goats standing out 
in relief. Who can get sleep for thinking of a money- 
loving daughter-in-law seduced, of brides that have 
lost their virtue, or of adulterers not out of their 
'teens ? Though nature say me nay, indignation will 
prompt my verse, of whatever kind it be— such 
verse as I can write, or Cluvienus ! 4 

81 From the day when the rain-clouds lifted up the 
waters, and Deucalion climbed that mountain in his 
ship to seek an oracle— that day when stones grew 
soft and warm with life, and Pyrrha showed maidens 
m nature's garb to men-^al Uhe doings of mankind . 
their vows, their fears, their a~n~g~ers and their p lea- 
sures, their joys and go ings to and fro, shall form the 
motley subiec l of my pa g e. Fc-r when was Vice m7> re 
4 Unknown ; some scribbler of the day. 


et quando uberior vitiorum copia ? quando 

maior avaritiae patuit sinus ? alea quando 

hos animos ? neque enim loculis comitantibus itur 

ad casum tabulae, posita sed ludituv area. 90 

proelia quanta illic dispensatore videbis 

armigero ! simplexne furor sestertia centum 

perdere et horrenti tunicam non reddere servo ? 

quis totidem erexit villas, quis fercula septem 

secreto cenavit avus ? nunc sportula primo 95 

limine parva sedet turbae rapienda togatae ; 

ille tamen faciem prius inspicit et trepidat ne 

snppositus \enias ac falso nomine poscas : 

agnitus accipies. iubet a praecone vocari 

ipsos Troiugenas, nam vexant limen et ipsi 100 

nobiscum. "da praetori, da deinde tribuno." 

sed libertinus prior est. " prior " inquit " ego adsum. 

cur timeam dubitemve locum defendere ? quamvis 

natus ad Eupbraten, molles quod in aure fenesti-ae 

arguerint, licet ipse negem, sed quinque tabernae 105 

quadringenta parant. quid confert purpura maior 

optandum, si Laurenti custodit in agro 

conductas Corvinus oves, ego possideo plus 

Pallante et Licinis? " expectent ergo tribuni, 

vincant divitiae, sacro ne cedat honori 110 

nuper in banc urbem pedibus qui venerat albis, 

1 The fortune required of a knight (the census equeslris) 
was 400,000 sesterces. 

2 The broad purple stripe {latus clavus) on the tunic of 

3 One of an ancient Roman family. 



rampant ? When did the maw of Avaric e gape wide r ? 

vVjjen was gambling so reckless ?~"TVIen rnmp nntnnw 
with purses to the hazard of the gaming table, but with 
a treasure-chest beside them. What battles will you 
there see waged with a steward for armour-bearer ! 
Is it a simple form of madness to lose a hundred 
thousand sesterces, and not have a shirt to give to a 
shivering slave? Which of our grandfathers built 
such numbers of villas, or dined by himself off seven 
courses? Look now at the meagre dole set down 
upon the threshold for a toga-clad mob to scramble 
for ! The patron first peers into your face, fearing 
that you may be claiming under someone else's name : 
once recognised, you will get your share. He tnen 
bids the crier call up the Trojan-blooded nobles— for 
they too besiege the door as well as we: "The 
Praetor first," says he, "and after him the Tribune." 
"But I was here first," says a freedman who stops 
the way; "why should I be afraid, or hesitate to 
keep my place ? Though born on the Euphrates— a 
fact which the little windows in my ears would testify 
though I myself denied it— yet I am the owner of 
five shops which bring me in four hundred thou- 
sand sesterces. 1 What better thing does the Broad 
Purple 2 bestow if a Corvinus 3 herds sheep for daily 
wage in the Laurentian country, while I possess 
more property than either a Pallas or a Licinus ? " 4 
So let the Tribunes await their turn; let money 
carry the day ; let the sacred office 5 give way to one 
who came but yesterday with whitened 6 feet into 

* Pallas and Licinus were wealthy freedmen. 

• The persons of the Tribunes of the Plebs were sacrosanct, 
blaves imported for sale had white chalk-marks on their 




quandoquidem inter nos sanctissima divitiarum 
maiestas, etsi funesta pecunia templo 
nondum habitas, 1 nullas nummorum ereximus aras, 
ut colitur Pax atque 2 Fides Victoria Virtus 115 

quaeque salutato crepitat Concordia nido. 

Sed cum summus honor finito conputet anno, 
sportula quid referat, quantum rationibus addat, 
quid facient comites quibus hinc toga, calceus hinc est 
et panis fumusque domi ? densissima centum 120 
quadrantes lectica petit, sequiturque maritum 
languida vel praegnas et circumducitur uxor, 
hie petit absenti nota iam callidus arte 
ostendens vacuam et clausam pro coniuge sellam 
11 Gallamea est" inquit, " citius dimitte. moraris ? 125 
profer, Galla, caput, noli vexare, quiescit." 3 

Ipse dies pulchro distinguitur ordine rerum : 
sportula, deinde forum iurisque peritus Apollo 
atque triumphales, inter quas ausus habere 
nescio quis titulos Aegyptius atque Arabarches, 130 
cuius ad effigiem non tantum meiere fas est. 
vestibulis abeunt veteres lassique clientes 
votaque deponunt, quamquam longissima cenae 
spes homini ; caulis miseris atque ignis emendus. 
optima sil varum interea pelagique vorabit 135 

1 habitas ty : habitat P Vind.OT Biich.Housm. 

2 In place of the dull atque of P^, Dr. Postgate, supported 
by the reading firma found in the MS. IT, has made the 
brilliant conj. Fama, approved by L. Ha vet. See Class. 
Quart, iii. p. 67. 

3 quiescit Vind.i^ : quiescaet P: quiescet Biich.Housm. 



our city. Fjpr no deity is held in such reverenc e 
amongst us as Weallth : though as yet, O baneful 
money, thou hast no temple of thine own ; not yet 
ji ave we reared altars to Money in like man ner as we 
worship P eac e and~Honour, Victory a nd TFtue. orthat 
" XoncorcPtKat twitters when we s aTute her nesj b. 

117 If therTTne great officers ot state reckon up at 
the end of the year how much the dole brings in, 
how much it adds to their income, what shall we 
dependants do who, out of the self-same dole, have 
to find ourselves in coats and shoes, in the bread and 
fire of our homes? A mob of litters comes in quest 
of the hundred farthings ; here is a husband going 
the round, followed by a sickly or pregnant wife ; 
another, by a clever and well-known trick, claims for 
a wife that is not there, pointing, in her stead, to a 
closed and empty chair : « My Galla's in there," says 
he; "let us off quick, will you not?" " Galla, put 
out your head ! " " Don't disturb her, she's asleep ! " 

127 The day itself is marked out by a fine round 
of business. First comes the dole ; then the courts, 
and Apollo 2 learned in the law, and those triumphal 
statues among which some Egyptian Arabarch 3 or 
other has dared to set up his titles ; against whose 
statue more than one kind of nuisance may be com- 
mitted ! Wearied and hopeless, the old clients leave 
the door, though the last hope that a man relinquishes 
is that of a dinner ; the poor wretches must buy their 
cabbage and their fuel. Meanwhile their lordly patron 
will be devouring the choicest products of wood and 

1 The temple of Concord, near the Capitol. Storks built 
their nests on the temple. 

2 A statue of Apollo in the Forum Avgusti. 

3 Probably an allusion to Julius Alexander, a Jew who 
was Prefect of Egypt a.d. 67-70. 



rex horurrij vacuisque toris tantuni ipse iacebit. 
nam de tot pulchris et latis oi'bibus et tarn 
antiquis una comedunt patrimonia mensa. 
nullus iam parasitus erit. sed quis ferat istas 
luxuriae sordes? quanta est gula quae sibi totos 140 
ponit apros, animal propter convivia natum ! 
poena tamen praesens, cum tu deponis amictus 
turgidus et crudum 1 pavonem in balnea poi'tas. 
hinc subitae mortes atque intestata 2 senectus ; 
it 3 nova nee tristis per cunctas fabula cenas : 145 
ducitur iratis plaudendum funus amicis. 

Nil erit ulterius quod nostris moribus addat 
posteritas, eadem facient cupientque minores, 
oinne in praecipiti vitium stetit. utere velis, 
totos pande sinus, dicas 4 hie forsitan " unde 150 
ingenium par materiae ? unde ilia priorum 
scribendi quodcumque animo flagrante liberet 
simplicitas ? f cuius non audeo dicere nomen ? 
quid refert, dictis ignoscat Mucius an non ? ' 
pone Tigellinum : taeda lucebis 5 in ilia 155 

qua stantes ardent qui fixo gutture 6 fumant, 
et latum media sulcum deducis 7 harena. 

1 P lias crudus : crudum <h etc. 

2 intestata. See Glass. Rev. 1899, pp. 432-4. 

3 So AL and Housm.: Biich. follows the et of P. 

4 dicas \p : dices PO : Housm. prefers dicas ; see Journal 
of Phil. No. 67, p. 43. 5 P has lucebit : so also GT. 

6 Biich. (1893 edn.) reads pectore, as do PAO and Owen : 
gutture is read by Vind.GLTU. So Housm. ; see Journal 
of Phil. No. 67, p. 45. 

7 So pO : deducit P Housm. : Biich. (1910) conj. ducetis. 
Owen conj. dent lucis, reading ut for et. Housm. supposes 
a line dropped out after 1. 156, containing the word cadaver 
which becomes the subject to deducit. 


sea, lying alone upon an empty couch ; for at a 
single one of their fine large and antique tables 
they devour whole fortunes. Ere long no parasites, 
will hp ]pft I Whr> rvnii bear to see luxury so me an ? 
What a huge gullet ~to have a whole boar— an 
animal created for conviviality — served up to it ! 
But you will soon pay for it, my friend, when you 
take off your clothes, and with distended stomach 
carry your peacock into the bath undigested ! 
Hence a sudden death, and an intestate old age ; 
the new and merry tale runs the round of every 
dinner-table, and the corpse is carried forth to 
burial amid the cheers of enraged friends ! 

117 To thesj sways of ours Pos terity will have no - 
thing to adprTour grandchildre1o"~will d o the same 

, things, and desire the same things, that we do. ATI . 

^vice is at its acme ; l up with your sails and shake out 
every stitch of canvas ! Here perhaps you will say, 
" Where find the talent to match the theme ? 
Where find that freedom of our forefathers to write 
whatever the burning soul desired ? ' What man is 
there that I dare not name ? What matters it 
whether Mucius forgives my words or no? 2 '" But 
just describe Tigellinus 3 and you Avill blaze amid 
those faggots in which men, with their throats 
tightly gripped, stand and burn and smoke, and you 4 
trace a broad furrow through the middle of the arena. 

1 The phrase is difficult. Duff translates "Vice always 
stands above a sheer descent," and therefore soon reaches its 
extreme point. 

2 Apparently a quotation from Lucilius, being an attack 
on P. Mucius Scaevola. 

3 An infamous favourite of Nero's. 

4 i e. "your body." The passage refers to the burning of 
the early Christians, and the dragging of their remains across 
the arena. 




Qui dedit ergo tribus patruis aconita, vehatur 
pensilibus plumis atque illinc despiciat nos ? 
" cum veniet contra, digito compesce labellum : 
accusator erit qui verbum dixerit f hie est.' 
securus licet Aenean Rutulumque ferocem 
committas, nulli gravis est percussus Achilles 
aut multum quaesitus Hylas urnamque secutus : 
ense velut stricto quotiens Lucilius ardens 165 

infremuit, rubet auditor cui frigida mens est 
criminibus, tacita sudant praecordia culpa, 
inde ira l et lacrimae. tecum prius ergo voluta 
haec animo ante tubas : galeatum sero duelli 
paenitet." experiar quid concedatur in illos, 170 
quorum Flaminia tegitur cinis atque Latina. 


Vltra Sauromatas fugere hinc libet et glacialem 
Oceanum, quotiens aliquid de moribus audent 
qui Curios simulant et Bacchanalia vivunt. 
indocti primum, quamquam plena omnia gypso 
Chrysippi invenias ; nam perfectissimus horum, 5 
si quis Aristotelen similem vel Pittacon emit 

1 So Housm. following AGLO : Biich. reads irae from P. 

1 Turnus, king of the Rutulians. 

2 A favourite of Hercules, who was drawn into a well by 
the Naids. 



158 What ? Is a man Avho has administered aconite 
to half a dozen uncles to ride by and look down upon 
me from his swaying cushions ? " Yes ; and when 
he comes near you, put your finger to your lip : he 
who but says the word, l That's the man ! ' will 
be counted an informer. You may set Aeneas and 
the brave Rutulian x a-fighting with an easy mind ; 
it will hurt no one's feelings to hear how Achilles 
was slain, or how Hylas 2 was searched for when he 
tumbled after his pitcher. But when Lucilius roars 
and rages as if with sword in hand, the hearer, whose 
soul was cold with crime, grows red ; he sweats with 
the secret consciousness of sin. Hence wrath and 
tears. So turn these things over in your mind before 
the trumpet sounds ; the helmet once donned, it is 
too late to repent you of the battle." Then I will 
try what I may say of those worthies whose ashes lie 
under the Flaminian and Latin 3 roads. 


Moralists without Morals 

I would fain flee to Sarmatia and the frozen 
Sea when people who ape the Curii 4 and live like 
Bacchanals dare talk about morals. In the first 
place, they are unlearned persons, though you may 
find their houses crammed with plaster casts of 
Chrysippus 5 ; for their greatest hero is the man 
who has bought a likeness of Aristotle or Pittacus, 6 

3 The sides of the great roads leading out from Rome were 
lined with monuments to the dead. 
* A famous family of early Rome. 
6 The eminent Stoic philosopher, pupil of Cleanthes. 
6 One of the seven wise men of Greece, b. circ. B.C. 652. 



et iubet archetypos pluteum servare Cleanthas. 

frontis nulla fides ; quis enirn non vicus abundat 

tristibus obscaenis ? castigas turpia, cum sis 

inter Socraticos notissima fossa cinaedos? 10 

hispida membra quidem et durae per bracchia saetae 

promittunt atrocem animum, sed podice levi 

caeduntur tumidae medico ridente mariscae. 

rarus sermo illis et magna libido tacendi 

atque supercilio brevior coma, verius ergo 15 

et magis ingenue Peribomius ; hunc ego fatis 

inputo, qui vultu morbum incessuque fatetur. 

horum simplicitas miserabilis, his furor ipse 

dat veniam ; sed peiores, qui talia verbis 

Herculis invadunt et de virtute locuti 20 

clunem agitant. "ego te ceventerm Sexte, verebor ? " 

infamis Varillus ait " quo deterior te ? " 

loripedem rectus derideat, Aethiopem albus ; 

quis tulerit Gracchos de seditione querentes ? 

quis caelum terris non misceat et mare caelo, 25 

si fur displiceat Verri, homicida Miloni, 

Clodius accuset moechoSj Catilina Cethegum, 

in tabulam Syllae si dicant discipuli tres ? 

qualis erat nuper tragico pollutus adulter 

concubitu, qui tunc leges revocabat amaras 30 

1 Pupil and successor of Zeno, founder of the Stoic School, 
from about B.C. 300 to 220. Famous for his poverty and 
iron will. 

2 Some villainous character of the clay. 

3 Alluding to the faction fights between Clodius and Milo, 
B.C. 52. Clodius violated the rites of the Bona Dea ; see vi. 

4 A partner in the Catilinarian conspiracy, B.C. 63. 



or bids his shelves preserve an original portrait of 
Cleanthes. 1 Men's faces are not to be trusted ; 
does not every street abound in gloomy-visaged 
debauchees ? And do you rebuke foul practices, 
when you are yourself the most notorious of the 
Socratic reprobates? A hairy body, and arms stiff 
with bristles, give promise of a manly soul : but 
the doctor grins when he cuts into the growths 
on your sleek buttocks. Men of your kidney talk 
little; they glory in taciturnity, and cut their hair 
shorter than their eyebrows. Peribomius 2 himselt 
is more open and more honest ; his face, his walk, 
betray his distemper, and I charge Destiny with 
his failings. Such men excite your pity by their 
frankness ; the very fury of their passions wins them 
pardon. Far worse are those who denounce evil 
ways in the language of a Hercules ; and after dis- 
coursing upon virtue, prepare to practise vice. 
"Am I to respect you, Sextus," quoth the ill-famed 
Varillus, " when you do as I do ? How am I worse 
than yourself? " Let the straight-legged man laugh 
at the club-footed, the white man at the blackamoor: 
but who could endure the Gracchi railing at sedi- 
tion ? Who will not confound heaven with earth, 
and sea with sky, if Verres denounce thieves, or 
Milo 3 cut-throats? If Clodius condemn adulterers, 
or Catiline upbraid Cethegus 4 ; or if Sulla's three 
disciples 5 inveigh against proscriptions ? Such a 
man was that adulterer 6 who, after lately defiling 
himself by a union of the tragic style, revived the 
stern laws that were to be a terror to all men — ay, 

6 i.e. the second triumvirate (Octavius, Antony, and 
Lepidus) who followed the example of Sulla's proscriptions. 

6 The emperor Domitian. Domitian was a lover of his 
niece Julia, daughter of his brother Titus. 

c 2 


omnibus atque ipsis Veneri Martique timendas, 
cum tot abortivis fecundam Iulia vulvam 
solveret et patruo similes effunderet offas. 
nonne igitur iure ac merito vitia ultima fictos 
contemnunt Scauros et castigata remordent? 35 

Non tulit ex illis torvum Laronia quendam 
clamantem totiens " ubi nunc, lex Iulia ? l dormis ? " 
atque ita subridens : " felicia tempora, quae te 
moribus opponunt. habeat iam Roma pudorem, 
tertius e caelo cecidit Cato. sed tamen unde 40 

haec emis, hirsuto spirant opobalsama collo 
quae tibi ? ne pudeat dominum monstrare tabernae. 
quod si vexantur leges ac iura/ citari 
ante omnes debet Scantinia : respice primum 
et scrutare viros ; faciunt nam 3 plura, sed illos 45 
defendit numerus iunctaeque umbone phalanges, 
magna inter molles concordia. non erit ullum 
exemplum in nostro tam detestabile sexu. 
Media non lambit Cluviam nee Flora Catullam : 
Hispo subit iuvenes et morbo pallet utroque. 50 

" Numquid nos agimus causas, civilia iura 
novimuSj aut ullo strepitu fora vestra movemus ? 
luctantur paucae, comedunt colyphia paucae : 
vos lanam trahitis calathisque peracta refertis 
veil era, vos tenui praegnantem stamine fusum 55 

1 Housm. punctuates ubi nunc, lex Julia, dormis ? 

2 ac iura \\i (see 1. 72) : acturae P. 

3 nam Housm. from 0: hi Vind.ij' and Biich.: qui Biich. 



even to Mars and Venus — at the moment when Julia 
was relieving her fertile womb and giving birth to 
abortions that displayed the similitude of her uncle. 
Is it not then right and proper that the very worst 
of sinners should despise your pretended Scauri, 1 and 
bite back when bitten ? 

3(3 Laronia could not contain herself when one of 
these sour-faced worthies cried out, " What of your 
Julian Law? 2 Has it gone to sleep?" To which 
she answered smilingly, " O happy times to have you 
for a censor of our morals ! Once more may Rome 
regain her modesty ; a third Cato has come down to 
us from the skies ! But tell me, where did you buy 
that balsam juice that exhales from your hairy neck ? 
Don't be ashamed to point out to me the shopman ! 
If laws and statutes are to be raked up, you should 
cite first of all the Scantinian 3 : inquire first into the 
things that are done by men ; men do more wicked 
things than we do, but they are protected by their 
numbers, and the tight-locked shields of their 
phalanx. Male effeminates agree wondrously well 
among themselves ; never in our sex will you find 
such loathsome examples of evil. 

51 " Do we women ever plead in the courts ? 
Are we learned in the Law ? Do your court-houses 
ever ring with our bawling? Some few of us 
are wrestlers ; some of us eat meat-rations : you 
men spin wool and bring back your tale of work 
in baskets when it is done ; you twirl round the 
spindle big with fine thread more deftly than 

1 One of the most famous families of the later Republic. 

2 In reference to the law passed by Augustus for encourag- 
ing marriage {Lex Iulia de maritandis ordinibus). 

8 A law against unnatural crime. 



Penelope melius, levius torquetis Arachne, 
horrida quale facit residens in codice paelex. 
notum est cur solo tabulas inpleverit Hister 
liberto, dederit vivus cur multa puellae ; 
dives erit magno quae dormit tertia lecto ; 60 

tu nube atque tace : donant arcana cylindros. 
de nobis post haec tristis sententia fertur ? 
dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas." 

Fugerunt trepidi vera ac manifesta canentem 
Stoicidae ; quid enim falsi Laronia ? sed quid 65 
non facient alii, cum tu multicia sumas, 
Cretice, et hanc vestem populo mirante perores 
in Proculas et Pollittas ? est moecha Fabulla, 
damnetur, si vis, etiam Carfinia : talem 
non sumet damnata togam. " sed Iulius ardet, 70 
aestuo." nudus agas : minus est insania turpis. 
en habitum quo te leges ac iura ferentem 
vulneribus crudis populus modo victor, et illud 
montanum positis audiret vulgus aratris. 
quid non proclames, in corpore iudicis ista 75 

si videas ? quaero an deceant multicia testem. 
acer et indomitus libertatisque magister, 
Cretice, perluces. dedit hanc contagio labem 
et dabit in plures, sicut grex totus in agris 

1 A Lydian maiden who challenged Athene in spinning 
and was turned into a spider. 

2 Cylindrus, a cylinder, is here used for a precious stone 
cut in that shape. 



Penelope, more delicately than Arachne, 1 doing 
work such as an unkempt drab squatting on a log 
would do. Everybody knows why Hister left all 
his property to his freedman, why in his life-time 
he gave so many presents to his young wife ; the 
woman who sleeps third in a big bed will want for 
nothing. So when you take a husband, keep your 
mouth shut; precious stones 2 will be the reward ot 
a well-kept secret. After this, what condemnation 
can be pronounced on women ? Our censor absolves 
the crow and passes judgment on the pigeon ! " 

84 While Laronia was uttering these plain truths, 
the would-be Stoics made off in confusion : for what 
word of untruth had she spoken ? Yet what will 
not other men do when you, Creticus, dress yourself 
in garments of gauze, and while everyone is mar- 
velling at your attire, launch out against the Proculae 
and the Pollittae ? Fabulla is an adultei*ess ; condemn 
Carfinia of the same crime if you please ; but how- 
ever guilty, they would never wear such a gown as 
yours. "O but," you say, "these July days are so 
sweltering ! " Then why not plead without clothes? 
Such madness would be less disgraceful. A pretty 
garb yours in which to propose or expound laws to 
our countrymen flushed with victory, and with their 
wounds yet unhealed ; and to those mountain rustics 
who had laid down their ploughs to listen to you ? 
What would you not exclaim if you saw a judge 
dressed like that? Would a robe of gauze sit be- 
comingly on a witness ? You, Creticus, you, the keen, 
unbending champion of human liberty, to be clothed 
in a transparency ! This plague has come upon us 
by infection, and it will spread still further, just as 
in the fields the scab of one sheep, or the mange of 



unius scabie cadit et porrigine x porci 80 

uvaque conspecta livorem ducit ab uva. 

Foedius hoc aliquid quandoque audebis amictu ; 
nemo repente fuit turpissimus. accipient te 
paulatim qui longa domi redimicula sumunt 
frontibus et toto posuere monilia collo, 85 

atque bonam tenerae placant abdomine porcae 
et magno cratere deam ; sed more sinistro 
exagitata procul non intrat femina limen : 
solis ara deae maribus patet. "ite profanae/' 
clamatur, " nullo gemit hie tibicina cornu." 90 

talia secreta coluerunt orgia taeda 
Cecropiam soliti Baptae lassare Cotyton. 
ille supercilium madida fuligine tinctum 
obliqua producit acu pingitque trementis 
attolens oculos ; vitreo bibit ille priapo, 95 

reticulumque comis auratum ingentibus implet 
caerulea indutus scutulata aut galbina rasa, 
et per Iunonem domini iurante ministro ; 
ille tenet speculum, pathici gestamen Othonis, 
Actoris Aurunci spolium, quo se ille videbat 100 

armatum, cum iam tolli vexilla iuberet. 
res memoranda novis annalibus atque recenti 
historia, speculum civilis sarcina belli ; 
nimirum summi ducis est occidere Galbam 

1 prurigine P. 

1 None but women could attend the rites of the Bona Dea. 
Hence the scandal created in B.C. 62 by Clodius when he 
made his way into the house of Caesar, where the rites were 
being celebrated, disguised as a woman. Hence Caesar put 
away his wife Pompeia, as " Caesar's wife must be above 
suspicion." In the present passage Juvenal refers to some 
real or imaginary inversion of the old rule, by which none 
but males, clothed in female dresses, were to be admitted to 
the worship of the Goddess. 



one pig, destroys an entire herd ; just as one bunch 
of grapes takes on its sickly colour from the aspect 
of its neighbour. 

82 Some day you will venture on something more 

shameful than this dress; no one reaches the 

depths of turpitude all at once. In due time you 

will be welcomed by those who in their homes put 

fillets round their brows, swathe themselves with 

necklaces, and propitiate the Bona Dea with the 

stomach of a porker and a huge bowl of wine, though 

by an evil usage the Goddess warns off all women 

from the door ; none but males may approach her 

altar. 1 "Away with you! profane women" is the 

cry; "no booming horn, no she-minstrels here!" 

Such were the secret torchlight orgies with which 

the Baptae 2 wearied the Cecropian 3 Cotytto. One 

prolongs his eyebrows with some damp soot on the 

edge of a needle, and lifts up his blinking eyes to be 

painted ; another drinks out of an obscenely-shaped 

glass, and ties up his long locks in a gilded net ; he is 

clothed in blue checks, or smooth-faced green ; the 

attendant swears by Juno like his master. Another 

holds in his hand a mirror like that carried by the 

effeminate Otho : a trophy of the Auruncan Actor, 4 in 

which he gazed at his own image in full armour when 

he was just ready to give the order to advance— a 

thing notable and novel in the annals of our time, a 

mirror among the kit of Civil War! It needed, in truth, 

a mighty general to slay Galba, and keep his own skin 

2 Worshippers of the Thracian deity Cotytto. 

3 i.e. Athenian, Cecrops being the first king of Athens. 

4 The words Actoris Aurunci spolivm area quotation from 
Virg. Aen. xii 94. The suggestion seems to be that Otho 
was as proud of his mirror as if it had been a trophy of war, 
like the spear which King Turnus captured from Actor. 

2 5 


et curare cutem ; summi constantia civis 105 

Bebriacis campis spolium l adfectare Palati, 
et pressum in facie digitis extendere panenr, 
quod nee in Assyrio pharetrata Samiramis orbe, 
maesta nee Actiaca fecit Cleopatra carina, 
hie nullus verbis pudor aut reverentia mensae, 110 
hie turpis 2 Cybeles et fracta voce loquendi 
libertas et crine senex fanaticus albo 
sacrorum antistes, rarum ac memorabile magni 
gutturis exemplum conducendusque magister. 
quid tamen expectant, Phrygio quos tempus erat 

iam 115 

more supervacuam cultris abrumpere carnem ? 

Quadringenta dedit Gracchus sestertia dotem 
cornicini, sive hie recto cantaverat aere ; 
signatae tabulae, dictum " feliciter," ingens 
cena sedet, gremio iacuit nova nupta mariti. 120 

o proceres, censore opus est an haruspice nobis ? 
scilicet horreres maioraque monstra putares, 
si mulier vitulum vel si bos ederet agnum ? 
segmenta et longos habitus et flammea sumit 
arcano qui sacra ferens nutantia loro 125 

sudavit clupeis ancilibus. 

O pater urbis, 
unde nefas tantum Latiis pastoribus ? unde 
haec tetigit, Gradive, tuos urtica nepotes ? 
traditur ecce viro clarus genere atque opibus vir, 

1 spolium 4-0 : solium Herwerd.Housm. 

2 turpis PVind.^ : turpes TParis. 

1 The battle in which Otbo was defeated by Vitellius. 

2 Mythical founder of the Assyrian empire with her 
husband Ninua. 



sleek; it needed a citizen of highest courage to ape 
the splendours of the Palace on the field of Bebria- 
cum/ and plaster his face with dough ! Never did the 
quiver-bearing Samiramis 2 the like in her Assyrian 
realm, nor the despairing Cleopatra on board her 
ship at Actium. No decency of language is there 
here : no regard for the manners of the table. You 
will hear all the foul talk and squeaking tones of 
Cybele ; a grey-haired frenzied old man presides 
over the rites; he is a rare and notable master of 
the art of gluttony, and should be hired to teach it. 
But why wait any longer when it were time in 
Phrygian fashion to lop off the superfluous flesh ? 

117 Gracchus has presented to a cornet player — or 
perhaps it was a player on the straight horn — a dowry 
of four hundred thousand sesterces. The contract 
has been signed; the benedictions have been pro- 
nounced ; the banqueters are seated, the new made 
bride is reclining on the bosom of her husband. O 
ye nobles of Rome ! is it a soothsayer that we need, 
or a Censor ? Would you be more aghast, would you 
deem it a greater portent, if a woman gave birth to a 
calf, or an ox to a lamb? The man who is now 
arraying himself in the flounces and train and veil of 
a bride once carried the quivering shields 3 of Mars 
by the sacred thongs and sweated under the sacred 
burden ! 

126 O Father of our city, whence came such wicked- 
ness among thy Latin shepherds ? How did such a 
lust possess thy grandchildren, O Gradivus ? Behold! 
Here you have a man of high birth and wealth being 

3 Gracchus was one of the Salii, priests of Mars who had 
to carry the sacred shields of Mars (ancilia) in procession 
through the city. 



nee galeam quassas, nee terram cuspide pulsas, 130 
nee quereris patri? vade ergo et cede severi 
iugeribus cam pi, quern neglegis. 

" Officium eras 
prime- sole mihi peragendum in valle Quirini." 
"quae causa officii ? " "quid quaeris ? nubit amicus 
nee multos adhibet." liceat modo vivere, fient, 135 
fient ista palam, cupient et in acta referri. 
interea tormentum ingens nubentibus haeret, 
quod nequeant parere et pai'tu retinere maritos. 
sed melius, quod nil animis in corpora iuris 
natura indulget : steriles moriuntur, et illis 140 

turgida non prodest condita pyxide Lyde, 
nee prodest agili palmas praebere luperco. 

Vicit et hoc monstrum tunicati fuscina Gracchi, 
lustravitque fuga mediam gladiator harenam 
et Capitolinis generosior et Marcellis 145 

et Catuli Paulique minoribus et Fabiis et 
omnibus ad podium spectantibus, his licet ipsum 
admoveas cuius tunc munere retia misit. 

Esse aliquos manes et subterranea regna 

et contum a et Stygk) ranas in gurgite nigras, 150 

atque una transire vadum tot milia cumba 

1 et contum 2Vind.i|/: et pontum PSTU. Housm. reads 
Cocytum after Luitprandus, Antapodosis 5 B. 

1 i.e. the Campus Martius. 

2 The Luperci were a mysterious priesthood who on certain 
days ran round the pomoerium clad in goat-skins and struck 
at any woman they met with goat-skin thongs in order to 
produce fertility. 

3 The podium was a balustrade, or balcony, set all round 
the amphitheatre, from which the most distinguished of the 
spectators witnessed the performance. 



handed over in marriage to a man, and yet neithei 
shakest thy helmet, nor smitest the earth with thy 
spear, nor yet protestest to thy Father ? Away with 
thee then ; begone from that broad Martial Plain * 
which thou hast forgotten ! 

132 "1 have a ceremony to attend," quoth one, "at 
dawn to-morrow, in the Quirinal valley." "What is 
the occasion ? " " No need to ask : a friend is taking 
to himself a husband ; quite a small affair." Yes, and 
if we only live long enough, we shall see these things 
done openly : people will wish to see them reported 
among the news of the day. Meanwhile these would- 
be brides have one great trouble : they can bear no 
children wherewith to keep the affection of their 
husbands ; well has nature done in granting to their 
desires no power over their bodies. They die in- 
fertile ; naught avails them the medicine-chest of 
the bloated Lyde, or to hold out their hands to 
the blows of the swift-footed Luperci ! 2 

143 Greater still the portent when Gracchus, clad 
in a tunic, played the gladiator, and fled, trident in 
hand, across the arena — Gracchus, a man of nobler 
birth than the Capitolini, or the Marcelli, or the 
descendents of Catulus or Paulus, or the Fabii : 
nobler than all the spectators in the podium 3 ; not 
excepting him who gave the show at which that net 4 
was flung. 

149 That there are such things as Manes, and king- 
doms below ground, and punt-poles, and Stygian 
pools black with frogs, and all those thousands cross- 
ing over in a single bark — these things not even 

4 For the disgrace incurred by Gracchus in fighting as 
a retiarius against a secutor, see the fuller passage viii. 199- 
210 and note. 



nee pueri credunt, nisi qui nondum aere lavantur. 
sed tu vera puta : Curius quid sentit et ambo 
Scipiadae, quid Fabricius manesqUe Camilli, 
quid Cremerae legio et Cannis consumpta iuven- 

tus, 155 

tot bellorum animae, quotiens hinc talis ad illos 
umbra venit ? cuperent lustrari, si qua darentur 
sulpura cum taedis et si foret umida laurus. 
illic 1 heu miseri traducimur. arma quidem ultra 
litora Iuvernae promovimus et modo captas 160 

Orcadas ac minima contentos nocte Britannos ; 
sed quae nunc populi fiunt victoris in urbe, 
non faciunt illi quos vicimus. et tamen unus 
Armenius Zalaces cunctis narratur ephebis 
mollior ardenti sese indulsisse tribune 165 

aspice quid faciant commercia : venerat obses, 
hie fiunt homines, nam si mora longior urbem 
indulsit pueris, non umquam 2 derit amator. 
mittentur bracae cultelli frena flagellum ; 
sic praetextatos referunt Artaxata mores. 170 


Quamvis digressu veteris confusus amici 
laudo tamen, vacuis quod sedem figere Cumis 
destinet atque unum civem donare Sibyllae. 

1 illic Vind.GL : illuc ATU and appar. P. 

2 7io?i umquam GLOTHousm. : non numqwam PUBiich. 



boys believe, except such as have not yet had 
their penny bath. But just imagine them to be 
true— what would Curius and the two Scipios think ? 
or Fabricius and the spirit of Camillus ? What would 
the legion that fought at the Cremera * think, or the 
young manhood that fell at Cannae ; what would all 
those gallant hearts feel when a shade of this sort 
came down to them from here ? They would wish 
to be purified ; if only sulphur and torches and clamp 
laurel-branches were to be had. Such is the degrada- 
tion to which we have come ! Our arms indeed we 
have pushed beyond Juverna's 2 shores, to the new- 
conquered Orcades and the short-nighted Britons ; 
but the things which we do in our victorious city 
will never be done by the men whom we have 
conquered. And yet they say that one Zalaces, an 
Armenian more effeminate than any of our youth, has 
yielded to the ardour of a Tribune ! Just see what 
evil communications do! He came as a hostage: 
but here boys are turned into men. Give them a 
long sojourn in our city, and lovers will never fail 
them. They will throw away their trousers and their 
knives, their bridles and their whips, and carry back 
to Artaxata the manners of our Roman youth. 


Quid Romae Faciam? 

Though put out by the departure of my old friend, 
I commend his purpose to fix his home at Cumae' 
and to present one citizen to the Sibyl. That is the 

1 The battle in which 300 Fabii were killed. 
a Ireland. 


ianua Baiarum est et gratum litus amoeni 

secessus. ego vel Prochytam praepono Suburae ; 5 

nam quid tarn miserum, tam solum vidimus, ut non 

deterius credas horrere incendia, lapsus 

tectorum adsiduos ac mille pericula saevae 

urbis et Augusto recitantes mense poetas ? 

Sed dum tota domus raeda componitur una, 10 
substitit ad veteres arcus madidamque Capenam. 
hie, ubi nocturnae Numa constituebat amicae, 
nunc sacri fontis nemus et delubra locantur 
Iudaeis, quorum cophinus faenumque supellex 
(omnis enim populo mercedem pendere iussa est 15 
arbor et eiectis mendicat silva Camenis), 
in vallem Egeriae descendimus et speluncas 
dissimiles veris. quanto praesentius 1 esset 
numen aquis, viridi si margine clauderet undas 
herba, nee ingenuum violarent marmora tofum. 20 

Hie tunc Vmbricius " quando artibus," inquit, 
" honestis 
iiullus in urbe locus, nulla emolumenta laborum, 
res hodie minor est here quam fuit atque eadem eras 
deteret exiguis aliquid, proponimus illuc 
ire, fatigatas ubi Daedalus exuit alas, 25 

dum nova canities, dum prima et recta senectus, 
dum superest Lachesi quod torqueat et pedibus me 
porto meis nullo dextram subeunte bacillo. 
cedamus patria. vivant Artorius istic 

1 praestantius p<|/ : prese ntius Vind. ^^ 

1 A small island off Misenum. 
8 The noisiest street in Rome. 

3 The Porta Capena was on the Appian Way, the great 
S. road from Rome. Over the gate passed an aqueduct, 



gate of Baiae, a sweet retreat upon a pleasant shore ; I 
myself would prefer even Prochyta 1 to the Saburra ! 2 
EoiUvhe re has one ever seen a place so dismal a nd 
soioaslvthat one wou ld not deem it worse to live 
ijLJZerrjetual dread o T Tires and falling houses, an d 
the tliouga nfr perils of this terrible city, and p ^t, 
spouting in thp month nf A^tf i -— — - - 

10 But while all his goods and chattels wereteing 
packed upon a single wagon, my friend halted at 
the dripping archway of the old Porta Capena. 3 Here 
Numa held his nightly assignations with his mis- 
tress ; but now the holy fount and grove and^shrine 
are let out to Jews, who possess a basket anclaSuss 
of hay for all their furnishings. For as every tree 
nowadays has to pay toll to the people, the Muses 
have been ejected, and the wood has to go a-beggino- 
We go down to the Valley of Egeria, and into the 
caves so unlike to nature : how much more near to us 
would be the spirit of the fountain if its waters were 
fringed by a green border of grass, and there were 
no marble to outrage the native tufa ! 

21 Here spoke Umbricius :— " Since there is no 
room," quoth he, "for honest callings in this city, no 
reward for labour ; since my means are less to-day 
than they were yesterday, and to-morrow will rub 
off something from the little that is left, I purpose 
to go to the place where Daedalus put off his weary 
wings while my white hairs are recent, while my old 
age is erect and fresh, while Lachesis has something 
left to spin, and I can support myself on my own 
feet without slipping a staff beneath my hand. Fare- 
well my country! Let Artorius live there, and 

carrying the water of the Aqua Marcia. Hence " the drip- 
ping archway." 



et Catulus, maneant qui nigrum in Candida ver- 

tunt, 30 

quis facile est aedem conducere flumina portus, 
siccandam eluviem, portandum ad busta cadaver, 
et praebere caput domina venale sub hasta. 
quondam hi cornicines et municipalis harenae 
perpetui comites notaeque per oppida buccae 35 

munera nunc edunt et, verso pollice vulgus 
quem x iubet, occidunt populariter ; inde reversi 
conducunt foricas, et cur non omnia, cum sint 2 
quales ex humili magna ad fastigia rerum 
extollit quotiens voluit Fortuna iocari ? 40 

" Quid Romae faciam ? mentiri nescio ; librum, 
si malus est, nequeo laudare et poscere ; motus 
astrorum ignoro ; funus promittere patris 
nee volo nee possum ; ranarum viscera numquam 
inspexi ; ferre ad nuptam quae mittit adulter, 45 
quae mandat, norunt alii ; me nemo ministro 
fur erit, atque ideo nulli comes exeo tamquam 
mancus et extinctae corpus non utile dextrae. 
quis nunc diligitur nisi conscius et cui fervens 
aestuat occultis animus semperque tacendis ? 
nil tibi se debere putat, nil conferet umquam, 
participem qui te secreti fecit honesti : 
carus erit Verri qui Verrem tempore quo vult 


quem ty : cum PAUBiich. and Housm. 

Biich. punctuates et cur non? omnia cum sint. 

i A spear was set up at auctions as the sign of ownership 


Catulus; let those remain who turn black into 
white, to whom it comes easy to take contracts for 
temples, rivers or harbours, for cleansing drains or 
carrying corpses to the pyre, or to put up slaves for 
sale under the authority of the spear.' These men 
once were horn-blowers, who went the round of 
every provincial show, and whose puffed-out cheeks 
were known in every village ; to-day they hold shows 
ot their own, and win applause by slaying with a 
turn or the thumb 2 whomsoever the mob bids them 
slay; from that they go back to contract for cess- 
pools, and why not for any kind of thing, seeing that 
they are of the kind that Fortune raises from the 
gutter to the mighty places of earth whenever she 
wishes to enjoy a laugh ? 

41 ".What ran I do at_ Rome ? I cannot lie : if a 
bookjs bad, I cannot praise it, and beg for a conv : 
I am ignorant of the movements of the stars ; I can- 
not, and will not, promise to a man his father's 
death ; I have never examined the entrails of a froo- • 
I must leave it to others to carry to a bride the 
presents and messages of a paramour. No man will 
get my help in robbery, and therefore no governor 
will take me on his staff : 1am treated as a m.nim^ 
-aiuLuseless trunk that has lost the pr^. r f ^ 

Uail£is W pat. m ^ w;„. fn V »„ r nfnv iH L | 11 1 L _J 1L 

be an acco mplice— one w hose sm.l g ^fW -^ burn: 
mfch secreta riat must never be disclosed ? No one 
who has imparted to you an innocent secret thinks 
he owes you anything, or will ever bestow on you a 
favour ; the man whom Verres loves is the man who 

* Vertere pollicem., to turn the thumb up, was the signal 
for dispatching the wounded gladiator ; premere pollicem, to 
turn it down, was a sign that he was to be spared. 


d 2 


accusare potest, tanti tibi non sit opaci 

omnis harena Tagi quodque in mare volvitur 

aurum, ^5 

ut somno careas ponendaque praemia sumas 
tristis, et a magno semper timearis amico. 

" Quae nunc divitibus gens acceptissima nostris 
et quos praecipue fugiam, properabo fateri, 
nee pudor opstabit. non possum ferre, Quirites, 60 
Graecam urbem ; quamvis quota portio faecis Achaei ? 
iam pridem Syrus in Tiberim defluxit Orontes, 
et linguam et mores et cum tibicine chordas 
obliquas nee non gentilia tympana secum 
vexit et ad circum iussas prostare puellas. 65- 

ite, quibus grata est picta lupa barbara mitra ! 
rusticus ille tuus sumit trechedipna, Quirine, 
et ceromatico fert nicetei'ia collo. 
hie alta Sicyone, ast hie Amydone relicta, 
hie Andro, ille Sam'o, hie Trallibus aut Alabandis 70 
Esquilias dictumque petunt a vimine collem, 
viscera magnarum domuum dominique futuri. 
ingenium velox, audacia perdita, sermo 
promptus et Isaeo torrentior : ede quid ilium 
esse putes ? quemvis hominem secum attulit ad 

nos : _ ' ^ 

grammaticus rhetor geometres pictor aliptes 
augur schoenobates medicus magus : omnia novit 
Graeculus esuriens ; in caelum iusseris ibit. 

i Referring to the sambuca, a kind of harp, of triangular 
shape, producing a shrill sound. 

2 Trechedipna, " a run-to-dinner coat"; ceromaticus, from 
ceroma, oil used by wrestleis; and niceterium, "a prize of 
victory "—all used to ridicule the use of the Greek forms. 

8 i.e. the Mons Viminalis, from vimen, " an osier." 

4 An Assyrian rhetorician : not the Greek orator Isaeus. 



can impeach Verres at any moment that he chooses. 
Ah ! Let not all the sands of the shaded Tagus, and 
the gold which it rolls into the sea, be so precious in 
your eyes that you should lose your sleep, and accept 
gifts, to your sorrow, which you must one day lay 
down, and be for ever a terror to your mighty friend ! 

58 « And now let me speak at once of the race 
which is most dear to our rich men, and which I avoid 
above all others ; no shyness shall stand in my way. 
T r» aTl n nt- phirU , n m - r jt P fij a R n m r o f Greeks: and yet 
what fraction of our dregs comes from Greece ? The 
Syrian Orontes has long since poured into the Tiber, 
bringing with it its lingo and its manners, its flutes 
and its slanting harp-strings 1 ; bringing too the tim- 
brels of the breed, and the trulls who are bidden ply 
their trade at the Circus. Out upon you, all ye that 
delight in foreign strumpets with painted head- 
dresses ! Your country clown, Quirinus, now trips to 
dinner in Greek-fangled slippers, 2 and wears nieete- 
rian 2 ornaments upon a ceromafic 2 neck ! One comes 
from lofty Sicyon, another from Amydon or Andros, 
others from Samos, Tralles or Alabanda ; all making 
for the Esquiline, or for the hill that takes its name 
from osier-beds 3 ; all ready to worm their way into 
the houses of the great and become their masters. 
Quick of wit and of unbounded impudence, they are 
as ready of speech as Isaeus, 4 and more torrential. 
Say, what do you think that fellow there to be? 
He has brought with him any character you please ; 
grammarian, orator, geometrician; painter, trainer,' 
or rope-dancer ; augur, doctor or astrologer : 

' All sciences a fasting monsieur knows, 
And bid him go to Hell, to Hell he goes ! ' 5 

6 From Johnson's London. 



in summa non Maurus erat neque Sarmata nee Thrax 
qui sumpsit pinnas, mediis sed natus Athenis. 80 

" Horum ego non fugiam conchylia ? me prior ille 
signabit fultusque tovo meliore recumbet, 
advectus Roraam quo prima et cottona vento ? 
usque adeo nihil est, quod nostra infantia caelum 
hausit Aventini baca nutrita Sabina ? 85 

" Quid quod adulandi gens prudentissima laudat 
sermonem indocti, faciem deformis amici, 
et longum invalidi collum cervicibus aequat 
Herculis Antaeum procul a tellure tenentis, 
miratur vocem angustam, qua deterius nee 90 

ille sonat quo mordetur gallina marito ? 
haec eadem licet et nobis laudare, sed illis 
creditur. an melior, cum Thaida sustinet aut cum 
uxorem comoedus agit vel Dorida nullo 
cultam palliolo ? mulier nempe ipsa videtur, 95 

non persona, loqui ; vacua et plana omnia dicas 
infra ventriculum et tenui distantia rima. 
nee tamen Antiochus nee erit mirabilis iliic 
aut Stratocles aut cum molli Demetrius Haemo : 
natio comoeda est. rides, maiore cachinno 100 

concutitur ; flet, si lacrimas conspexit amici, 
nee dolet ; igniculum brumae si tempore poscas, 
accipit endromidem ; si dixeris ( aestuo/ sudat. 
non sumus ergo pares : melior, qui semper et omni 
nocte dieque potest aliena sumere vultum 105 

1 Daedalus. 

2 Hercules slew Antaeus by raising him from the ground, 
till when he was invincible. 3 Names of Greek actors. 



In fine, the man who took to himself wings 1 was not 
a Moor, nor a Sarmatian, nor a Thracian, but one 
born in the very heart of Athens ! 

81 " Must I not make my escape from purple-clad 
gentry like these ? Is a man to sign his name be- 
fore me, and recline upon a couch above mine, who 
has been wafted to Rome by the wind which brings 
us our damsons and our figs ? Is it to go so utterly 
for nothing that as a babe I drank in the air of the 
Aventine, and was nurtured on the Sabine berry ? 

S6 ' ' WJhat of this again, that these people are expert s 
in flattery , and will commend the talk of an illiterate, 
or the beauty of a deformed, friend, and compare the 
scraggy neck of some weakling to the brawny throat 
of Hercules when holding up Antaeus 2 from the 
earth ; or go into ecstasies over a squeaky voice not 
more melodious than that of a cock when he pecks his 
spouse the hen ? We, no doubt, can praise the same 
things that they do ; but what they say is believe d. 
Could any actor do better when he plays the part of 
Thais, or of a matron, or of a Greek slave-girl without 
her pallium ? You would never think that it was an 
actor that was speaking, but a very woman, complete 
in all her parts. Yet, in their own country, neither 
Antiochus 3 nor Stratocles, 3 neither Demetrius 3 nor 
the delicate Haemus, 3 will be applauded : the y are a 
.nation of play-actor s. If you smile, your (ireek will 
split his sides with laughter; if he sees his friend drop 
a tear, he weeps, though without grieving ; if you call 
for a bit of fire in winter-time, he puts on his cloak ; 
if you say ' I am hot,' he breaks into a sweat. Thus 
we are not upon a level, he and I ; he has always 
the best of it, being ready at any moment, by night 
or by day, to take his expression from another man's 



a facie, iactare manus, laudare paratus, 
si bene ructavit, si rectum minxit amicus, 
si trulla inverso crepitum dedit aurea fundo. 

" Praeterea sanctum nihil est neque l ab inguine 
non matrona laris, non filia virgo, neque ipse 110 
sponsus levis adhuc, non Alius ante pudicus ; 
horum si nihil est, aviam resupinat amici. 
[scire volunt secreta domus atque inde timed.] 
et quoniam coepit Graecorum mentio, transi 
gymnasia atque audi facinus maioris abollae. 115 

Stoicus occidit Baream delator aniicum 
discipulumque senex, ripa nutritus in ilia, 
ad quam Gorgonei delapsa est pinna caballi. 
non est Romano cuiquam locus hie, ubi regnat 
Protogenes aliquis vel Diphilus aut Hermarchus, 120 
qui gentis vitio numquam partitur amicum, 
solus habet. nam cum faeilem stillavit in aurem 
exiguum de naturae patriaeque veneno, 
limine summoveor, perierunt tempora longi 
servitii ; nusquam minor est iactura clientis. 125 

" Quod porro officium, ne nobis blandiar, aut quod 
pauperis hie meritum, si curet nocte togatus 
currere, cum praetor lictorem impellat et ire 
praecipitem iubeat dudum vigilantibus orbis, 
ne prior Albinam et Modiam collega salutet ? 130 

1 P defective here. Most MSS. have aut for est. Housm. 
reads aut tibi. 

1 Publius Egnatius Celer. See Tac. Ann. xvi. 30-32 and 
Hist. iv. 20 and 40. 



face, to throw up his hands and applaud if his friend 
spit or hiccup nicely, or if his golden basin make a 
gurgle when turned upside down. 

109 "Besi des all this, there is nothing sacred to his. 
Justs ,: not the matron of the family, nor the maiden 
daughter, not the as yet unbearded son-in-law to be, 
not even the as yet unpolluted son ; if nnnp nf tl^^ 
b^Jtligre , he will debauch the p n^nrlmnthpy^TW^ 
m en wantto discover t he secrets of the family, and ' 
so make themselves feare cT Arid now that l"am 
speaking of the Greeks, pass on to the schools, and 
hear of a graver crime; the Stoic 1 who informed 
against and slew his own young friend and disciple 2 
was born on that river bank 3 whei*e the Gorgon's 
winged steed fell to earth. No : there is no room 
for any Roman here, where some Protogenes, or 
Diphilus, or Hermarchus rules the roast — one who by 
a defect of his race never shares a friend, but keeps 
him all to himself. For when once he has dropped 
into a facile ear one particle of his own and his 
country's poison, I am thrust from the door, and all 
my long years of servitude go for nothing. Nowhere 
is it so easy as at Rome to throw an old client over- 

126 " A»d-b £s_ides, not to flatter ourselves, wh at, 
value is there in a poor man's serving here in Rom e, 
even if he be at pains to hurry along in his toga 
before daylight, seeing that the praetor is bidding 
the lictor to go full speed lest his colleague should 
be the first to salute the childless ladies Albina and 
Modia, who have long ago been awake. Here in 

2 For the accusation and death of Barea Soranus, see Tac. 
Ann. xvi. 23 and 33. 
* i.e. at Tarsus on the river Cydnua. 



divitis hie servo claudit latus ingenuorum 
filivis ; alter enim quantum in legione tribuni 
accipiunt donat Calvinae vel Catienae, 
ut semel aut iterum super illam palpitet ; at tu, 
cum tibi vestiti facies scorti placet, haeres 135 

et dubitas alta Chionen deducere sella, 
da testem Romae tam sanctum quam fuit hospes 
numinis Idaei, procedat vel Numa vel qui 
servavit trepidam flagranti ex aede Minervam : 
protinus ad censum, de moribus ultima fiet 140 

quaestio. ' quot pascit servos ? quot possidet agri 
iugera ? quam multa magnaque paropside cenat ? ' 
quantum quisque sua nummorum servat in area, 
tantum habet et fidei. iures licet et Samothracum 
et nostrorum aras, contemnere fulmina pauper 145 
creditur atque deos dis ignoscentibus ipsis. 

" Quid quod materiam praebet causasque iocorum 
omnibus hie idem, si foeda et scissa lacerna, 
si toga sordidula est et rupta calceus alter 
pelle patet, vel si consuto vulnere crassum 150 

atque recens linum ostendit non una cicatrix ? 
nil habet infelix paupertas durius in se, 
quam quod ridiculos homines facit. ( exeat/ inquit, 
f si pudor est, et de pulvino surgat equestri 
cuius res legi non sufficit, et sedeant hie 155 

lenonum pueri quocumque ex fornice nati ; 
hie plaudat nitidi praeconis filius inter 

1 Ladies of rank. 

2 P. Cornelius Seipio received the image of Cybele when 
brought from Phrygia, B.C. 204. 

3 L. Caecilius Metellus, in B.C. 241. 



Rome the son of free-born parents has to give the wall 
to some rich man's slave ; for that other will give as 
much as the whole pay of a legionary tribune to 
enjoy the chance favours of a Calvina 1 or a Catiena, 1 
while you, when the face of some gay-decked harlot 
takes your fancy, scarce venture to hand her down 
from her lofty chair. At Rome you may pi-oduce a 
witness as unimpeachable as the host of the Idaean 
Goddess 2 — Numa himself might present himself, or 
he who rescued the trembling Minerva from the 
blazing shrine 3 — the first question asked will be as 
to his wealth, the last about his character: 'how 
many slaves does he keep ? ' ' how many acres does 
he own?' 'how big and how many are his dinner 
dishes?' A man's word is believed in exact propo r- 
tion to amount nf casli_jviiie h^ ne keeps in h is 
strong box . Though he swear by all the altars of 
Samothrace or of Rome, the poor man is believed to 
care naught for Gods and thunderbolts, the Gods 
themselves forgiving him. 

147 "And what of this, that the poor man gives food 
and occasion for jest if his cloak be torn and dirty ; 
if his toga be a little soiled ; if one of his shoes 
gapes where the leather is spli^or if some fresh 
stitches of coarse thread reveal where not one, but 
many a rent has been patched ? Of all the woes of 
luckless povert y none is harder T?o"enclul'e than thi s, 
that it e xposesinejxj^ ridicule : ' (Jut you go ! for 
very shame,' says the marshal ; ' out of the Knights' 
stalls, all of you whose means do not satisfy the law.' 
Here let the sons of panders, born in any brothel, 
take their seats ; here let the spruce son of an 
auctioneer clap his hands, with the smart sons of a 
gladiator on one side of him and the young gentle- 



pinnirapi cultos iuvenes iuvenesque lanistae ' : 

sic libitum vano, qui nos distinxit, Othoni. 

quis gener hie placuit censu minor atque puellae 160 

sarcinulis impar ? quis pauper scribitur heres ? 

quando in consilio est aedilibus ? agmine facto 

debuerant olim tenues migrasse Quirites. 

" Haut facile emergunt quorum virtutibus opstat 
res angusta domi, sed Romae durior illis 165 

conatus : magno hospitium misei-abile, magno 
servorum ventres, et frugi cenula magno. 
fictilibus cenare pudet, quod turpe negabis 
translatus subito ad Marsos mensamque Sabellam 
contentusque illic Veneto duroque cucullo. 170 

" Pars magna Italiae est, si verum admittimus, 
in qua 
nemo togam sumit nisi mortuus. ipsa dierum 
festorum herboso colitur si quando theatro 
maiestas tandemque redit ad pulpita notum 
exodium, cum personae pallentis hiatum 175 

in gremio matris formidat rusticus infans, 
aequales habitus illic similesque videbis 
orchestram et populum, clari velamen honoris 
sufficiunt tunicae summis aedilibus albae. 
hie ultra vires habitus nitor, hie aliquid plus 180 

quam satis est interdum aliena sumitur area, 
commune id vitium est, hie vivimus ambitiosa 
paupertate omnes. quid te moror ? omnia Romae 
cum pretio. quid das, ut Cossum aliquando salutes, 

1 The law of Otho (b.c. 67) reserved for knights the first 
fourteen rows in the theatre behind the orchestra where 
senators sat. The knights (equites) were the wealthy 
middle class, each having to possess a census of 400,000 



men of a trainer on the other : such was the will of the 
numskull Otho who assigned to each of us his 
place. 1 Who ever was approved as a son-in-law if he 
was short of cash, and no match for the money-bags 
of the young lady? What poor man ever gets a 
legacy, or is appointed assessor to an aedile ? Romans 
without money should have marched out in a body 
long ago ! 

1(34 " J.t is no easy m atter, anywhere, for a man to 
rise when poverty stand s 111 the way uf his merl EsT 
but no where is the effort harder than in Rome, 
where vou must pay a big rent for a wr etched lodg-~ 
mg, a big sum to fill the bellies ot your slaves, and 
bu y a frugal dinner tor yoursel f You are ashamed to 
dine off' dell'; but you would see no shame in it if 
transported suddenly to a Marsian or Sabine table, 
where you would be pleased enough to wear a cape 
of coarse Venetian blue. 

171 " There are many parts of Italy, to tell the truth, 
in which no man puts on a toga until he is dead. 
Even on days of festival, when a brave show is made 
in a theatre of turf, and when the well-known farce 
steps once more upon the boards ; when the rustic 
babe on its mother's breast shrinks back affrighted 
at the gaping of the pallid masks, you will see stalls 
and populace all dressed alike, and the worshipful 
aediles content with white tunics as vesture for then- 
high office. ...In Rome, everyone dresses above his 
means, and some times something mni-p th^n what is 
enough is taken out of another m an'g pm-Vet This 
failing is universal heret^ we all live in a state of 
pretentious poverty. To p u t , it shortly, nothing c a*t- 
lio-liar! in Rom e for nothing . How much does it 
cost you to be able now and then to make your bow 



ut te respiciat clauso Veiento labello ? 185 

ille metit barbam, crinem hie deponit amati ; 
plena domus libis venalibus ; accipe, et istud 
fermentum tibi habe : praestare tributa clientes 
cogimur et cultis augere peculia servis. 

" Quis timet aut timuit gelida Praeneste ruinam 190 
aut positis nemorosa inter iuga Volsiniis aut 
simplicibus Gabiis aut proni Tiburis arce ? 
nos urbem colimus tenui tibicine fultam 
magna parte sui ; nam sic labentibus obstat 
vilicus et, veteris rimae cum texit hiatum, 195 

securos pendente iubet dormire ruina. 
vivendum est illic ubi nulla incendia, nulli 
nocte metus. iam poscit aquam, iam irivola transfert 
Vcalegon, tabulata tibi iam tertia fumant : 
tu nescis ; nam si gradibus trepidatur ab imis, 200 
ultimus ardebit quern tegula sola tuetur 
a pluvia, molles ubi reddunt ova columbae. 
lectus erat Codro Procula minor, urceoli sex 
ornamentum abaci nee non et parvulus infra 
cantharus etrecubans sub eodem marmore Chiron, 205 
iamque vetus graecos servabat cista libellos 
et divina opici rodebant carmina mures, 
nil habuit Codrus, quis enim negat ? et tamen illud 

1 The rendering is uncertain. Duff translates, "Take your 
money and keep your cake." 

2 At this feast cakes (liba) are provided ; but the guests 
are expected to give a tip to the slaves. According to Duff, 
the client pays the slave, but is too indignant to take the cake. 

3 Lit. "a slender flute-player " ; props were so called either 
from their resemblance to a flute, or to the position in which 
the flute was held in playing. 



to Cossus? Or to be vouchsafed one glance, with 
lip firmly closed, from Veiento ? One of these great 
men is cutting off* his beard ; another is dedicating 
the locks of a favourite; the house is full of cakes — 
which you will have to pay for. Take your cake, 1 
and let this thought rankle in your heart : we clients 
are compelled to pay tribute and add to a sleek 
menial's perquisites. 2 

100 « who at cool Praeneste, or at Volsinii amid its 
leafy hills, was ever afraid of his house tumbling 
down? Who in modest Gabii, or on the sloping 
heights of Tivoli ? J3nt hei-p Wf > inl-mKit n r jty 
sup ported for the most part by slender pro ps : 3 
for that is how the bailiff patches up the cracks 
in the old wall, bidding the inmates sleep at ease 
under a roof ready to tumble about their ears. No, 
no, I must live where there are no fires, no nightly 
alarms. Ucalegon 4 below is already shouting far 
water and shifting his chattels; smoke is pouring 
out of your third-floor attic above, but you know 
nothing of it ; for if the alarm begins in the ground- 
floor, the last man to burn will be he who has nothing 
to shelter him from the rain but the tiles, where the 
gentle doves lay their eggs. Codrus possessed a bed 
too small for the dwarf Procula, a marble slab adorned 
by six pipkins, with a small drinking cup, and a 
recumbent Chiron below, and an old chest containing 
Greek books whose divine lays were being gnawed 
by unlettered mice. Poor Codrus had nothing, 
it is true : but he lost that nothing, which was his 

4 Borrowed from Virgil, A en. ii. 311, of the firing of Troy, 
iam pi-oximus ardet— Vcalegon. Juvenal's friend inhabits 
the third floor, and the fire has broken out on the ground 



perdidit infelix totum nihil, ultimus autem 
aerumnae est cumulus, quod nudum et frusta ro- 

gantem 210 

nemo cibo, nemo hospitio tectoque iuvabit. 

" Si magna Asturici cecidit domus, horrida mater, 
pullati proccres, differt vadimonia praetor, 
turn gemimus casus urbis, tunc odimus ignem. 
ardet adhuc, et iam accurrit qui marmora donet, 215 
conferat inpensas ; hie nuda et Candida signa, 
hie aliquid praeclarum 1 Euphranoris et Polycliti, 
hie 2 Asianorum Vetera ornamenta deorum, 
hie libros dabit et forulos mediamque Minervam, 
hie modium argenti. meliora ac plura reponit 220 
Persicus, orborum lautissimus et merito iam 
suspectus tamquam ipse suas incenderit aedes. 

" Si potes avelli circensibus, optima Sorae 
aut Fabrateriae domus aut Frusinone paratur 
quanti nunc tenebras unum conducis in annum. 225 
hortulus hie puteusque brevis nee reste movendus 
in tenuis plantas facili diffunditur haustu. 
vive bidentis amans et culti vilicus horti, 
unde epulum possis centum dare Pythagoreis. 
est aliquid, quocumque loco, quocumque recessu 230 
unius sese dominum fecisse lacertae. 

" Plurimus hie aeger moritur vigilando (set ipsum 
languorem peperit cibus inperfectus et haerens 
ardenti stomacho), nam quae 3 meritoria somnum 

1 praeclarum P : Housm. conj. praedarum. 

2 hie conj. by Jahn and confirmed by and Vind. : haec P 
Btich.: Housm. conj. aera. 

3 Housm. adopts the conj. quern (Hadr. Valesius) : quae 



all ; and the last straw in his heap of misery is this, 
that t hough h ei s destitute and begging for a hit*/ 
JiD_iffie_willheTp~him with a meal, no one offbrhim 
board orshelte r: — " 

'""BjuLi Lthe grand house of Asturicus be de - 
stroyed, the matrons go dishevelled, your great men 
put on mourning, the praetor adjourns his court: 
then indeed do we deplore the calamities of the city , 
and bewail jtsjires \ before the house has ceased' 
to burn, up comes one with a gift of marble or of 
building materials, another offers nude and glisten- 
ing statues, a third some notable work of Euphranor 
or Polyclitus, 1 or bronzes that had been the glory of 
old Asian shrines. Others will offer books and book- 
cases, or a bust of Minerva, or a hundredweight of 
silver-plate. Thus does Persicus, that most sumptu- 
ous of childless men, replace what he has lost with 
more and better things, and with good reason incurs 
the suspicion of having set his own house on fire. 

223 "If you can tear yourself away from the games 
of the Circus, jlq u_ can buy an excellent house at 
Sora, at Fabrateria or Frusino , for what you now p ay 
in Rome to rent a dark garret tor one yea r. And 
you will there have a little garden, with a shallow 
well from which you can easily draw water, without 
need of a rope, to bedew your weakly plants. There 
make your abode, mattock in hand, tending a trim 
garden fit to feast a hundred Pythagoreans. 2 It 
is something, in whatever spot, however remote, to 
have become the possessor of a single lizard ! 

2 ^ 2 " Most sick people here in Rome peri sh for want 
o lsleep, the illness itself having been produced by 
food lying undigested on a fevered stomach . For 

1 Celebrated Greek sculptors. J i.e. vegetarians. 




admittunt ? magnis opibus dormitur in urbe. 235 

inde caput morbi. raedarum transitus arto 
vicorum in flexu 1 et stantis convicia mandrae 
eripient somnum Druso vitulisque marinis. 
si vocat officium, turba cedente vehetur 
dives et ingenti curret super ora Liburna 240 

atque obiter leget aut scribet vel dormiet intus ; 
namque facit somnum clausa lectica fenestra, 
ante tamen veniet : nobis properantibus opstat 
unda prior, magno populus premit agmine lunibos 
qui sequitur ; ferit hie cubito, ferit assere duro 245 
alter, at hie tignum capiti incutit, ille metretam. 
pinguia crura luto, planta mox undique magna 
calcor, et in digito clavus mihi militis haeret. 

" Nonne vides quanto celebretur sportula fumo? 
centum convivae, sequitur sua quemque culina. 250 
Corbulo vix ferret tot vasa ingentia, tot res 
inpositas capiti, quas recto vertice portat 
servulus infelix et cursu ventilat ignem. 
scinduntur tunicae sartae modo, longa coruscat 
serraco veniente abies, atque altera pinum 255 

plaustra vehunt ; nutant alte populoque minantur. 
nam si procubuit qui saxa Ligustica portat 
axis et eversum fudit super agmina montem, 
quid superest de corporibus ? quis membra, quis ossa 

1 Biich. and Owen read inflexu, after*: Hqusui. 
in flexu. See Journal of Phil. No. 67, p. 40. 

1 Probably the somnolent Emperor Claudius is meant. 
s The hundred guests are clients ; each is followed by a 
slave carrying a kitchener to keep the dole hot when received. 



what sleep is possible in a lodging ? Who b ut the 
wealthy get sle e p in Rom e ? There lies the root of 
the disorder. The crossing of wagons in the narrow 
winding streets, the slanging of drovers when brought 
to a stand, would make sleep impossible for a Drusus 1 
—or a sea-calf. When the rich man has a call of 
social duty, the mob makes way for him as he is 
borne swiftly over their heads in a huge Liburnian 
car. He writes or reads or sleeps as he goes 
along, for the closed window of the litter induces 
slumber. Yet he will arrive before us ; hurry as we 
may, we are blocked by a surging crowd in front, 
and by a dense mass of people pressing in on us 
from behind : one man digs an elbow into me, 
another a sedan-pole; one bangs a beam, another 
a wine-cask, against my head. My legs are be- 
plastered with mud ; huge feet trample on me from 
every side, and a soldier plants his hobnails firmly 
on my toe. 

249 " See now the smoke rising from that crowd 
which hurries for the daily dole : there are a hundred 
guests, each followed by a kitchener of his own. 2 
Corbulo 3 himself could scarce bear the weight of all 
the big vessels and other gear which that poor little 
slave is carrying with head erect, fanning the flame 
as he runs along. Newly-patched tunics are torn 
in two ; up comes a huge log swaying on a wagon, 
and then a second dray carrying a whole pine-tree, 
towering aloft and threatening the people. For if 
that axle with its load of Ligurian marble breaks 
down, and pours its spilt contents on to the crowd, 
what is left of their bodies ? Who can identify the 

3 The great Roman general under Claudius and Nero, 
famed for his physical strength. 

E 2 


invenit ? obtritum vulgi perit omne cadaver 260 

more animae. domus interea secura patellas 
iam lavat et bucca foculum excitat et sonat unctis 
striglibus et pleno componit lintea guto. 
haec inter pueros varie properantur., at ille 
iam sedet in ripa taetrumque novicius horret, 265 
porthmea nee sperat caenosi gurgitis alnum 
infelix nee habet quem porrigat ore trientem. 

" Respice nunc alia ac diversa pericula noctis : 
quod spatium tectis sublimibus unde cerebrum 
testa ferity quotiens rimosa et curta fenestris 270 

vasa cadant, quanto percussum pondere signent 
et laedant silicem. possis ignavus haberi 
et subiti casus inprovidus, ad cenam si 
intestatus eas : adeo tot fata, quot ilia 
nocte patent vigiles te praetereunte fenestrae. 275 
ergo optes votumque feras miserabile tecum, 
ut sint contentae patulas defundere pelves. 

" Ebrius ac petulans, qui nullum forte cecidit, 
dat poenas, noctem patitur lugentis amicum 
Pelidae, cubat in faciem, mox deinde supinus ; 280 
[ergo non aliter poterit dormire : quibusdam] 
somnum rixa facit. sed quamvis improbus annis 
atque mero fervens, cavet hunc, quem coccina laena 
vitari iubet et comitum longissimus ordo, 
multum praeterea flammarum et aenea lampas ; 285 



limbs, who the bones? The poor man's crushed 
corpse disappears, just like his soul. At home mean- 
while the folk, unwitting, are washing the dishes 
blowing up the fire with distended cheek, clattering 
over the greasy flesh-scrapers, filling the oil-flasks 
and laying out the towels. And while each of them 
is thus busy over his own task, their master is already 
sitting, a new arrival, upon the bank, and shuddering 
at the grim ferryman : he has no copper in his mouth 
to tender for his fare, and no hope of a passage over 
the murky flood. 

268 "And_ jiow regard the different and diver se 
perils_ fl , f the nigh t. See what a height it is to that 
towering roof from which a potsherd comes crack 
upon my head every time that some broken or leaky 
vessel is pitched out of the window ! See with what 
a smash it strikes and dints the pavement ! There's 
death in every open window as you pass" aIong~a t~ 
night; you may well be deemed a fool, improvident 
of sudden accident, if you go out to dinner without 
having made your will. You can but hope, and put 
up a piteous prayer in your heart, that they may be 
content to pour down on you the contents of their 
slop-pails ! 

27S u Your drunken bully who has by chance not 
slain his man passes a night of torture like that of 
Achilles when he bemoaned bis friend, lying now 
upon his face, and now upon his back ; he will get 
no rest in any other way, since some men can only 
sleep after a brawl. Yet however reckless the fellow 
may be, however hot with wine and young blood, he 
gives a wide berth to one whose scarlet cloak and long 
retinue of attendants, with torches and brass lamps 
in their hands, bid him keep his distance. But to me, 



me, quern luna solet deducere vel breve lumen 
candelae, cuius dispenso et tempero filum, 
contemnit. miserae cognosce prohoemia rixae, 
si rixa est, ubi tu pulsas, ego vapulo tantum. 
stat contra starique iubet : parere necesse est ; 290 
nam quid agas, cum te furiosus cogat et idem 
fortior ? ' unde venis ? ', exclamat, ' cuius aceto, 
cuius conche tumes ? quis tecum sectile porrum 
sutor et elixi vervecis labra comedit ? 
nil mihi respondes ? aut die aut accipe calcem. 295 
ede ubi consistas ; in qua te quaero proseucha ? ' 
dicere si temptes aliquid tacitusve recedas, 
tantumdem est : feriunt pariter, vadimonia deinde 
irati faciunt. libertas pauperis haec est : 
pulsatus rogat et pugnis concisus adorat 300 

ut liceat paucis cum dentibus inde reverti. 

" Nee tamen haec tantum metuas. nam qui 
spoliet te 
non derit clausis domibus, postquam omnis ubique 
fixa catenatae siluit compago tabernae. 
interdum et ferro subitus grassator agit rem ; 305 
armato quotiens tutae custode tenentur 
et Pomptina palus et Gallinaria pinus, 
sic inde hue omnes tamquam ad vivaria currunt 
qua fornace graves, qua non incude catenae ? 
maximus in vinclis ferri modus, ut timeas ne 310 

vomer deficiat, ne marrae et sarcula desint. 
felices proavorum atavos, felicia dicas 



who am wont to be escorted home by the moon, 
or by the scant light of a candle whose wick I hus- 
band with due care, he pays no respect. Hear how 
the wretched fray begins — if fray it can be called 
when you do all the thrashing and I get all the blows ! 
The fellow stands up against me, and bids me halt ; 
obey I must. What else can you do when attacked by 
a madman stronger than yourself? 'Where are you 
from?' shouts he ; 'whose swipes, whose beans have 
blown you out ? With what cobbler have you been 
munching cut leeks x and boiled sheep's head ? — 
What, sirrah, no answer? Speak out, or take that 
upon your shins ! Where is your stand ? In what 
prayer-shop 2 shall I find you ? ' Whether you venture 
to say anything, or make off silently, it's all one : he 
will thrash you just the same, and then, in a rage, 
take bail from you. Such is the liberty nf the poor 
man : having been pounded and cuffed into a jelly - 
he begs and prays to be allowed to return home 
Jyith a few teeth in h jfi bend I- 

302 cc N or are these your only terrors. -W hen your 
lio nse is shut, when bar and chain have made fast 
.your shop, and all is silent, you will be robbed by 
a^ burglar ; or perhaps a cut-throat will do fo r you 
quickly with cold st eeL For whenever the Pontine 
marshes and the Gallinarian forest are secured by an 
armed guard, all that tribe flocks into Rome as into 
a fish-preserve. What furnaces, what anvils, are not 
groaning with the forging of chains ? That is how 
our iron is mostly used ; and you may well fear that 
ere long none will be left for plough-shares, none for 
hoes and mattocks. Happy were the forbears of our 

1 See note on xiv. 133. 

: Proseucha, a Jewish synagogue or praying-house. 



saecula quae quondam sub regibus atque tribunis 
viderunt uno contentam carcere Romam. 

"His alias poteram et pluris subnectere causas ; 315 
sed iumenta vocant et sol inclinat, eundum est ; 
nam mihi commota iam dudum mulio virga 
adnuit. ergo vale nostri memor, et quotiens te 
Roma tuo refici properantem reddet Aquino, 
me quoque ad Helvinam Cererem vestramque 

Dianam 320 

converte a Cumis. saturarum ego, ni pudet Mas, 
auditor 1 gelidos veniam caligatus in agros." 


Ecce iteru'm Crispinus, et est mihi saepe vocandus 
ad partes, monstrum nulla virtute redemptum 
a vitiis, aegrae solaque libidine fortes 
deliciae ; viduas tantum aspernatur 2 adulter, 
quid refert igitur, quantis iumenta fatiget 5 

porticibus, quanta nemorum vectetur in umbra, 
iugera quot vicina foro, quas emerit aedes ? 
nemo malus felix, minime 3 corrupter et idem 
incestus, cum quo nuper vittata iacebat 
sanguine adhuc vivo terram subitura sacerdos. 10 

1 auditor PVind.Biich. (1910): adiutor fBiich. (1893). 

2 aspernatur \p : aspernatus Vind. etc. and Housm • seer- 
naturTSA. ' 

3 minime PVind.if/ : quin ait 2 : Housm. conj. qum sit. 



great-grandfathers, happy the days of old which 
under Kings and Tribunes beheld Rome satisfied 
with a single gaol ! 

315 " To these I might add more anrj different yen 
sons ; b ut my cattle call, the sun is slo ping and I 
.must a wax * rcyy muleteer has long been signalling to 
me with his whip. And so farewell ; forget me not. 
And if ever you run over from Rome to your own 
Aquinum 1 to recruit, summon me too from Cumae 
to your Helvine 2 Ceres and Diana; I will come 
over to your cold country in my thick boots to 
hear your Satires, if they think me worthy of that 


A Tale of a Turbot 

Crispinu s^ once again ! a man whom I shall often 
have to call on to the scen e, a pr odigy of wickedness 
without one r edeeming virtue ; a sickly libertine , 
strong only in his lusts, which scorn none save the 
unwed deJ. — What mallets it then huw apa c i o us aic~ 
the colonnades which tire out his horses, how large 
the shady groves in which he drives, how many acres 
near the Forum, how many palaces, he has bought ? 
No bad man can be happy : least of all the in- 
cestuous seducer wilh whCm lately lay a filleted 3 
priestess, doomed to pass beneath the earth with 
the blood still warm within her veins. 

1 Aquinum was Juvenal's birthplace. 

2 The origin of this name of Ceres is unknown. 

3 The vitta, or fillet, was worn round the hair by Vestal 



Sed nunc de factis levioribus. et tamen alter 
si fecisset idem, caderet sub iudice morum ; 
nam quod turpe bonis Titio Seioque, decebat 
Crispinum : quid agas, cum dira et foedior omni 
crimine persona est? mullum sex milibus emit, 15 
aequantem sane paribus sestertia libris, 
ut perhibent qui de magnis maiora loquuntur. 
consilium laudo artificis, si munere tanto 
praecipuam in tabulis ceram senis abstulit orbi ; 
est ratio ulterior, magnae si misit amicae, 20 

quae vehitur clauso latis specularibus antro. 
nil tale expectes : emit sibi. multa videmus 
quae miser et fVugi non fecit Apicius ; hoc tu, 
succinctus patria quondam, Crispine, papyro ? 
hoc pretio squamas 1 ? potuit fortasse minoris 25 
piscator quam piscis emi ; provincia tanti 
vendit agros, sed maiores Apulia vendit. 
qualis tunc epulas ipsum gluttisse putamus 
induperatorem, cum tot sestertia, partem 
exiguam et modicae sumptam de margine cenae, 30 
purpureus magni ructarit scurra Palati, 
iam princeps equitum, magna qui voce solebat 
vendere municipes fracta de merce siluros ? 
incipe, Calliope, licet et considere, non est 
cantandum, res vera agitur. narrate, puellae 35 

Pierides ; prosit mihi vos dixisse puellas. 

1 P<has squamae. So Biich. 

1 A celebrated gourmand. 


11 To-day I shall tell of a less heinous deed, though 
had any other man done the like, he would fall 
under the censor's lash : for what would be shameful 
in good men like Seius or Teius sat gracefully on 
Crispinus. What can you do when the man himself 
i s more foul and monstrous than any charge you can 
b nng against him ? Crispinus bought a mullet for 
six thousand sesterces — one thousand sesterces for 
every pound of fish, as those would say who make 
big things bigger in the telling of them. I coul d 
c ommend the man's cunning if by such a lordly g ift 
h Xsecure d the first plare in the will of some ohi] d 
lp^g n]fl nr.^ or r better stil l sent it t o some great 
lady who rides in a close, broad-windowed litt er. 
B gt nothing of the sort; he bought it for himself: 
we see many a thing done nowadays which poor 
niggardly Apicius l never did. What ? Did you, 
Crispinus — you who once wore a strip of your native 
papyrus round your loins — give that price for a fish ? 
A_jjnce_bigger tha n you need have pa id for the 
j ^erman hiimse lTfa' price tor which you might buy 
a whole estate in some province, or a still larger one 
in Apulia. What kind of feasts are we to suppose 
were guzzled by our Emperor himself when all those 
thousands of sesterces — forming a small fraction, a 
mere side-dish of a modest entertainment — were 
belched up by a purple-clad parasite of the august 
Palace — one who is now Chief of the Knights, and 
who once used to hawk, at the top of his voice, a 
broken lot of his fellow-countrymen the sprats? 
Begin, Calliope ! let us take our seats. This is no 
mere fable, but a true tale that is being told ; tell it 
forth, ye maidens of Pieria, and let it profit me that 
I have called you maids ! 



Cum iam semianimum laceraret Flavius orbem 
ultimus et calvo serviret Roma Neroni, 
incidit Hadriaci spatium admirabile rhombi 
ante domum Veneris, quam Dorica sustinet Ancon, 40 
implevitque sinus ; nee enim minor haeserat illis 
quos operit glacies Maeotica ruptaque tandem 
solibus effundit torrentis ad ostia Ponti 
desidia tardos et longo frigore pingues. 
destinat hoc monstrum cumbae linique magister 45 
pontifici summo. quis enim proponere talem 
aut emere auderet, cum plena et litora multo 
delatore forent ? dispersi protinus algae 
inquisitores agerent cum remige nudo 
non dubitaturi fugitivum dicere piscem 50 

depastumque diu vivaria Caesaris, inde 
elapsum veterem ad dominum debere reverti. 
si quid Palfurio, si credimus Armillato, 
quidquid conspicuum pulchrumque est aequore toto, 
res fisci est, ubicumque natat. donabitur ergo, 55 
ne pereat. 

Iam letifero cedente pruinis 
autumno, iam quartanam sperantibus aegris 
stridebat deformis hiems praedamque recentem 
servabat. tamen hie properat, velut urgueat Auster. 
utque lacus suberant, ubi quamquam diruta servat 60 
ignem Troianum et Vestam colit Alba minorem, 
obstitit intranti miratrix turba parumper. 
ut cessit, facili patuerunt cardine valvae ; 

1 i.e. the emperor Domitian. 

2 The Pontifex Maximus, i.e. Domitian himself. 

3 These were two lawyers. 



37 What time the last of the Flavii was flaying the 
half-dying world, and Rome was enslaved to a bald - 
headed Ner pj 1 there fell into a net in the sea of 
Hadria, in front of the shrine of Venus reared high 
on Dorian Ancona ^a turbot of wond rous "'^j filling 
up all its meshes, — a fish no less huge than those 
which the lake Maeotis conceals beneath the ice till 
it is broken up by the sun, and then sends forth, 
torpid through sloth and fattened by long cold, to 
the mouths of the Pontic sea. This monster the 
master of the boat and line designs for the High 

Pontiff 2 ; for who wonlrl rlqre to put up fnr rnln ny f r, 

buy so big a fish in days when eve n t he sea shores 
w - e re crowded w ith informers ? The inspectors of 
sea-weed would straightway have taken the law of 
the poor fisherman, ready to affirm that the fish was 
a run-away that had long feasted in Caesar's fish- 
ponds ; escaped from thence, he must needs be 
restored to his former master. For if Palfurius 3 is to 
be believed, or Armillatus, 3 every rare and beautiful 
thing in the wide ocean, in whatever sea it swims, 
belongs to the Imperial Treasury. The fish there- 
fore, that it be not wasted, shall be. g iven ana gift 

56 And now death-bearing Autumn was giving way 
before the frosts, fevered patients were hoping for a 
quartan, 4 and bleak winter's blasts were keeping the 
booty fresh ; yet on sped the fisherman as though 
the South wind were at his heels. And when be- 
neath him lay the lake where Alba, though in ruins, 
still holds the Trojan fire and worships the lesser 
Vesta, 5 a wondering crowd barred his way for a while ; 
as it gave way, the gates swung open on easy 

4 i.e. a fever recurring every fourth day — an improvement 
upon a " tertian," one recurring every third day. 
6 i.e. as compared with the larger temple of Vesta in Rome. 



exclusi spectant admissa obsonia patres. 

itur ad Atriden. turn Picens "accipe," dixit, 65 

" privatis maiora focis. genialis agatur 

iste dies, propera stomachum laxare sagina, 1 

et tua servatum consume in saecula rhombum. 

ipse capi voluit." quid apertius ? et tamen illi 

surgebant cristae ; nihil est quod credere de se 70 

non possit cum laudatur dis aequa potestas. 

sed derat pisci patinae mensura. vocantur 

ergo in consilium proceres, quos oderat ille, 

in quorum facie miserae magnaeque sedebat 

pallor amicitiae. primus clamante Liburno 75 

" currite, iam sedit " rapta properabat abolla 

Pegasus, attonitae positus modo vilicus urbi. 

anne aliud turn praefecti ? quorum optimus atque 

interpres legum sanctissimus omnia, quamquam 2 

temporibus diris, tractanda putabat inermi 80 

iustitia. venit et Crispi iucunda senectus, 

cuius erant mores qualis facundia, mite 

ingenium. maria ac terras populosque regenti 

quis comes utilior, si clade et peste sub ilia 

saevitiam damnare et honestum adferre liceret 85 

consilium ? sed quid violentius aure tyranni, 

cum quo de pluviis aut aestibus aut nimboso 

vere locuturi fatum pendebat amici ? 

ilia igitur numquam derexit bracehia contra 

torrentem, nee civis erat qui libera posset 90 

1 saginam PS : saginis i|> Vind. 

2 quamquam Vind.^ : quamque P. 

1 The Praefectus Urbi, under the Emperors, was the head 
magistrate in Rome, and exercised many important functions. 



hinge, and the excluded Fathers gazed on the dish 
that had gained an entrance. Admitted to the 
Presence, "Receive," quoth he of Picenum, "a fish 
too big for a private kitchen. Be this kept as a 
festive day; hasten to fill out thy belly with good 
things, and jdevour a turbot that has been preserved 
t o grace thy reign. The fish himself wanted to be 
^ caught. Could~Hattery~ be more^g rosj s ? Ypt thi 
Monai-ch 's comb b egan to rise : there is nothing that 
(Byrne Majesty will not believe concerning itse lf" 
when lauded to the ski efl ! Rut , no -pl atter cuulc Hre 
ibund big enough f or the fish ; so a council of mag- 
nates is summoned : men hated by the Emperor, 
and on whose faces sat the pallor of that great and 
perilous friendship. First to answer the Ligurian's 
call "Haste, haste! he is seated!" was J?egasus, 
hastily catching up his cloak — he that hadnewly 
been appointed as bailiff over the astonished city. 
For what else but bailiffs were the Prefects 1 of 
those days? Of whom Pegasus was the best, and 
the most righteous expounder of the law, though 
he thought that even in those dread days there 
should be no sword in the hand of Justice. Next 
to come in was the aged, genial Crispus. 2 whose 
gentle soul well matched his style of eloquence. 
No better adviser than he for the ruler of lands 
and seas and nations had he been free, under that 
scourge and plague, to denounce cruelties and proffer 
honest counsels. Rm- wW <- a n i^> m nrp danor prrmc 
than the ear of a tyrant on whose caprice hangs the _ 
hfe of a friend who has come to talk of the rain or 
l ;he heat or the s howery spring weather ? Ho Crispus 
jtever struck uul agamsL the torrent, nor"was he on e 

2 Vibius Crispus ; see Tac. Hist. ii. 10. 



verba animi proferre et vitam inpendere vero. 
sic multas hiemes atque octogensima vidit 
solstitia, his armis ilia quoque tutus in aula. 

Proximus eiusdem properabat Acilius aevi 
cum iuvene indigno quern mors tarn saeva maneret 95 
et domini gladiis tain festinata ; sed olim 
prodigio par est in nobilitate senectus, 
unde fit ut malim fraterculus esse gigantis. 
profuit ergo nihil misero, quod comminus ursos 
figebat Numidas Albana nudus harena 100 

venator. quis enim iam non intellegat artes 
patricias ? quis priscum illud miratur acumen, 
Brute, tuum ? facile est barbato inponere regi. 

Nee melior vultu quamvis ignobilis ibat 
Rubrius, ofFensae veteris reus atque tacendae, 105 
et tamen inprobior saturam scribente cinaedo. 
Montani quoque venter adest abdomine tardus, 
et matutino sudans Crispinus amomo 
quantum vix redolent duo funera, saevior illo 
Pompeius tenui iugulos aperire susurro, 110 

et qui vulturibus servabat viscera Dacis 
Fuscus marmorea meditatus proelia villa, 
et cum mortifero prudens Veiento Catullo, 
qui numquam visae flagrabat amore puellae, 

1 Acilius Glabrio the younger was exiled, and afterwards 
put to death by Domitian. 

2 i.e. "son of a clod." Giants were supposed to be sprung 
from earth {yriy(Vf7^). 

5 Brutus feigned madness to elude the suspicion of Tarquin. 
A simple "bearded " monarch was easily imposed upon. 
4 Evidently an informer. 

6 4 


-to^eaj ^freely the thoughts of his heart, and stak e 

JlisJife~u pon the truth . Thus was it that he lived 

througFmany winters' and saw his eightieth solstice, 

protected, even in that Court, by weapons such as 


H Next to him hurried _Acilius, of like age as 
himself, and with him the youth 1 who little merited 
the cruel death that was so soon hurried on by his 
master's sword, Butj^eWlU^ing rmd noble hie 
Igng_ since becomeaprodigy"; hence I would rather 
Ug ^a giant's * little brotne r. Therefore it availed the 
poorybuth nothing that he speared Numidian bears, 
stripped as a huntsman upon the Alban arena. For 
who nowadays would not see through patrician tricks ? 
Who would now marvel, Brutus, at that old-world 
cleverness of yours ? 3 'Tis an easy matter to befool 
a king that wears a beard. 

104 No more cheerful in face, though of ignoble 
blood, came Rubrius. condemned long sinrp r>f a.. 
jrime that may not, be nimedj and yet more s hame- 
less than a reprobate who shnnH write ^"T There 
too was present the unwieldy frame of tyLojaianus ; 
and Crispinus., reeking at early dawn with odours 
enough to out-scent two funerals ; more ruthless 
than he Pompeius, 4 whose gentle whisper would cut 
men's throats ; and Fuscus, 5 who planned battles in 
his marble halls, keeping his flesh for the Dacian 
vultures. Then along with the sage Veiento jC ame 
the death-dealing Catullus, 6 who burnt with love for 
a maiden whom he had never seen — a mighty and 

5 Cornelius Fuscus, prefect of the Praetorian Guard. He 
was killed in Domitian's Dacian wars, a.d. 8G-88. 

6 Fabricius Veiento and Catullus Messalinus* informers 
under Domitian. 



grande et conspicuum nostro quoque tempore 

monstrum, 115 

caecus adulator, dirusque a ponte satelles 
dignus Aricinos qui mendicaret ad axes 
blandaque devexae iactaret basia raedae. 
nemo magis rhombum stupuit ; nam plurima dixit 
in laevum conversus, at illi dextra iacebat 120 

belua. sic pugnas Cilicis laudabat et ictus 
et pegma et pueros inde ad velaria i - aptos. 

Non cedit Veiento, set ut fanaticus oestro 
percussus, Bellona, tuo divinat et " ingens 
omen habes," inquit, "magni clarique triumphi. 125 
regem aliquem capies, aut de temone Britanno 
excidet Arviragus. peregrina est belua, cernis 
erectas in l terga sudes ? " hoc defuit unum 
Fabricio, patriam ut rhombi memoraret et annos. 

" Quidnam igitur censes ? conciditur ? " " absit 
ab illo 130 

dedecus hoc," Montanus ait, " testa alta paretur, 
quae tenui muro spatiosum colligat orbem. 
debetur magnus patinae subitusque Prometheus, 
argillam atque rotam citius properate ; sed ex hoc 
tempore iam, Caesar, figuli tua castra sequantur." 135 
vicit digna viro sententia. noverat ille 
luxuriam inperii veterem noctesque Neronis 
iam medias aliamque famem, cum pulmo Falerno 
arderet. nulli maior fuit usus edendi 
tempestate mea ; Circeis nata forent an 140 

1 Housm. conj. per for in. 


notable marvel even in these days of ours: a blind 
flatterer, a dire courtier from a beggar's stand, well 
fitted to beg at the wheels of chariots and blow soft 
kisses to them as they rolled down the Arician hill. 
None marvelled more at the fish than he, turning to 
the left as he spoke ; only, the creature happened to 
be on his right. In like fashion would he commend 
the thrusts of a Cilician gladiator, or the machine 
which whisks up the boys into the awning. 

123 But Veiento was not to be outdone ; and like 
a seer inspired, O Bellona, by thine own gadfly, he 
bursts into prophecy : "A mighty presage hast thou, 
O Emperor! of a great and glorious victory. Some 
King will be thy captive; or Arviragus * will be 
hurled from his British chariot. The brute is foreio- n - 
born : dost thou not see the prickles bristling upon 
his back ? " Nothing remained for Fabricius but to 

tell the turbot'sage~aTTd- bii - thijhi L L': 

130 " What thenllo you adviie ? " quoth the Em- 
peror. " Shall we cut it up ? " « Nay, nay," rejoins 
Montanus ; "let that indignity be spared him. Let 
a deep vessel be provided to gather his huge dimen- 
sions within its slender walls ; some great and un- 
foreseen Prometheus is destined for the dish ! Haste 
haste, with clay and wheel ! but from this day forth' 
O Caesar, let potters always attend upon thy camp ' " 
Tju^jiro posal, so worthy of the man, gained the 
°; i y- vVeTT known t0 him were the old debauches 
Df Llie Im pe nal uo url, which NeFo carried on to 
midnight ffity mund hunger cam e and veins were 

healed witfr-htHy-^d- Cl ' lliail. No one in m y timp l>nr ~ 

n Tore sjgftt-trrthe eating art than h P Hp^, H \ r]] 

at the first bite whether an oyster had been bred 

1 A British prince, as in Cymhdine. 

n 67 

F 2 


Lucrinum ad saxum Rutupinove edita fundo 
ostrea callebat primo deprendere morsu, 
et semel aspecti litus dicebat echini. 

Surgitur et misso proceres exire iubentur 
consilio, quos Albanam dux magnus in arcem 145 
traxerat attonitos et festinare coactos 
tamquam de Chattis aliquid torvisque Sycambris 
dicturus, tamquam ex diversis pai-tibus orbis 
anxia praecipiti venisset epistula pinna. 

Atque utinam his potius nugis tota ilia de- 
disset 150 

tempora saevitiae, claras quibus abstulit urbi 
inlustresque animas impune et vindice nullo. 
sed periit postquam cerdonibus esse timendus 
coeperat ; hoc nocuit Lamiarum caede madenti. 


Si te propositi nondum pudet atque eadem est 
ut bona summa putes aliena vivere quadra ; 
si potes ilia pati quae nee Sarmentus iniquas 
Caesaris ad mensas nee vilis Gabba tulisset, 
quamvis iurato metuam tibi credere testi. 
ventre nihil novi frugalius ; hoc tamen ipsum 

1 Riehborough. 

2 The Chatti and the Sycambri were two of the most 
powerful German tribes, between the Rhine and the Weser. 

3 Taken as a type of the ancient noble families of Rome. 



at Circeii, or on the Lucrine rocks, or on the beds of 
Rutupiae; 1 one glance would tell him the native 
shore of a sea-urchin. 

144 The Council rises, and the councillors are dis- 
missed : men whom the mighty Emperor had dragged 
in terror and hot haste to his Alban castle, as though 
to give them news of the Chatti, or the savage 
Sycambri, 2 or as though an alarming despatch had 
arrived on wings of speed from some remote quarter 
of the earth. 

150 And yet would that he had rather given to follies 
such as these all those days of cruelty when he 
robbed the city of its noblest and choicest souls, with 
none to punish or avenge ! He could steep himself in 
the blood of the Lamiae ; 3 _ hut when nnophpW ^ 
ajterror to the common herd he met his doom. 4 


How Clients are Entertained 

If you are still unashamed of your plan of life, and 
still deem it to be the highest bliss to live at another 
man's board— if you can brook indignities which 
neither Sarmentus nor the despicable Gabba 5 would 
have endured at Caesar's ill-assorted table— I should 
refuse to believe your testimony, even upon oath. I 
know of nothing so easily satisfied as the belly ; but 
even granted that you have nothing wherewith to 

* Domitian was murdered, as the outcome of a conspiracy 
by the hand of a freedman, Stephanus, on September 18 
A. D. yo. ' 

6 Sarmentus and Gabba are representatives of the lowesl 
parasite class. 



defecisse puta, quod inani sufficit alvo : 

nulla crepido vacat ? nusquam pons et tegetis pars 

dimidia brevior ? tantine iniuria cenae, 

tam ieiuna fames, cum possit honestius illic 10 

et tremere et sordes farris mordere canini ? 

Primo fige loco, quod tu discumbere iussus 
mercedem solidam veterum capis officiorum. 
fructus amicitiae magnae cibus ; inputat hunc rex, 
et quamvis rarum tamen inputat. ergo duos post 15 
si libuit menses neglectum adhibere clientem, 
tertia ne vacuo cessaret culcita lecto,, 
"una simus/' ait. votorum summa ! quid ultra 
quaeris? habet Trebius propter quod rumpere 

debeat et ligulas dimittere, sollicitus ne 20 

tota salutatrix iam turba peregerit orbem, 
sideribus dubiis aut illo tempore quo se 
frigida circumagunt pigri serraca Bootae. 

Qualis cena tamen ! vinum quod sucida nolit 
lana pati : de conviva Corybanta videbis. 25 

iurgia proludunt, sed mox et pocula torques 
saucius et rubra deterges vulnera mappa, 
inter vos quotiens libertorumque cohortem 
pugna Saguntina fervet commissa lagona. 

1 i.e. the least honourable place on the least honourable of 
the three couches of the triclinium. 

2 The name of the client whom he is addressing. 

7 o 


fill its emptiness, is there no quay vacant, no bridge ? 
Can you find no fraction of a beggar's mat to stand 
upon ? Is a dinner worth all the insults with which 
you have to pay for it ? Is your hunger so im- 
portunate, when it might, with greater dignity, be 
shivering where you are, and munching dirty scraps 
of dog's bread ? 

12 First of all be sure of this — that when bidden to 
dinner, you receive payment in full for all your past 
services. A meal is the return which your grand 
friendship yields you ; the great man scores it against 
you, and though it come but seldom, he scores it 
against you all the same. So if after a couple of 
months it is his pleasure to invite his forgotten 
client, lest the third place on the lowest couch 1 
should be unoccupied, and he says to you, " Come 
and dine with me," you are in the seventh Heaven ! 
what more can you desire ? Now at last has Trebius 2 
got the reward for which he must needs cut short 
his sleep, and hurry with shoe-strings untied, fearing 
that the whole crowd of callers may already have 
gone their rounds, at an hour when the stars are 
fading or when the chilly wain of Bootes is wheeling 
slowly round. 

24 And what a dinner after all ! You are given wine 
that fresh-clipped wool would refuse to suck up, 3 and 
which soon converts your revellers into Cory bants. 
Foul words are the prelude to the fray ; but before 
long tankards will be flying about ; a battle royal 
with Saguntine crockery will soon be raging between 
you and the company of freedmen, and you will be 
staunching your wounds with a blood-stained napkin. 

3 i.e. the wine was not good enough to be used even for 


ipse capillato diffusum consule potat, 30 

calcatamque tenet bellis socialibus uvam, 
cardiaco numquam cyathum missurus amico ; 
eras bibet Albanis aliquid de montibus aut de 
Setinis, cuius patriam titulumque seneetus 
delevit multa veteris fuligine testae, 35 

quale coronati Thrasea Helvidiusque bibebant 
Brutorum et Cassi natalibus. 

Ipse capaces 
Heliadum crustas et inaequales berullo 
Virro tenet phialas : tibi non committitur aurum, 
vel si quando datur, custos adfixus ibidem, 40 

qui nuineret gemmas, ungues observet acutos. 
da veniam, praeclara illi x laudatur iaspis ; 
nam Virro, ut multi, gemmas ad pocula transfert 
a digitis, quas in vaginae fronte solebat 
ponere zelotypo iuvenis praelatus Iarbae. 45 

tu Beneventani sutoris nomen habentem 
siccabis ealicem 'nasorum quattuor ac iam 
quassatum et rupto poscentem sulpura vitro. 

Si stomachus domini fervet vinoque ciboque, 
frigidior Geticis petitur decocta pruinis. 50 

non eadem vobis poni modo vina querebar : 
vos aliam potatis aquam. tibi pocula cursor 
Gaetulus dabit aut nigri manus ossea Mauri 
et cui per mediam nolis occurrere noctem, 
clivosae veheris dum per monumenta Latinae : 55 

1 illic \f*. 

1 The Social Wars, after which the Italians gained the 
Roman franchise, were fought between B.C. 91 and 88. 

2 Two famous Stoics whose outspoken freedom cost them 
their lives under Nero and Vespasian respectively. 

3 The patron who gives the dinner. 



The great man himself drinks wine bottled in the 
days when Consuls wore long hair ; the juice which 
he holds in his hand was squeezed during the Social 
Wars/ but never a glass of it will he send to a friend 
suffering from dyspepsia ! To-morrow he will drink 
a vintage from the hills of Alba or Setia whose date 
and name have been effaced by the soot which 
time has gathered upon the aged jar — such wine as 
Thrasea 2 and Helvidius 2 used to drink with chaplets 
on their heads upon the birthdays of Cassius and the 

37 The cup in Virro's 3 hands is richly crusted with 
amber and rough with beryl : to you no gold is en- 
trusted ; or if it is, a watcher is posted over it to 
count the gems and keep an eye on your sharp 
finger-nails. Pardon his anxiety ; that fine jasper of 
his is much admired ! For Virro, like so many others, 
transfers from his fingers to his cups the jewels with 
which the youth 4 preferred to the jealous Iarbas used 
to adorn his scabbard. To you will be given a 
cracked cup with four nozzles that takes its name 
from a Beneventine cobbler, 5 and calls for sulphur 
wherewith to repair its broken glass. 

49 If my lord's stomach is fevered with food and 
wine, a decoction colder than Thracian hoar-frosts 
will be brought to him. Did I complain just now 
that you were given a different wine? Why, the 
water which you clients drink is not the same. It will 
be handed to you by a Gaetulian groom, or by the bony 
hand of a blackamoor whom you would rather not 
meet at midnight when driving past the monuments 
on the hilly Latin Way. Before mine host stands the 

4 Aeneas. A en. iv. 36. 

5 Vatinius, a man with a long nose. 



flos Asiae ante ipsum, pretio maiore paratus 
quam fuit et Tulli census pugnacis et Anci 
et, ne te teneam, Romanorum omnia regum 
frivola. quod cum ita sit, tu Gaetulum Ganymedem 
respice, cum sities. nescit tot milibus emptus 60 
pauperibus miscere puer ; set forma, set aetas 
digna supercilio. quando ad te pervenit ille ? 
quando rogatus adest calidae gelidaeque minister ? 
quippe indignatur veteri parere clienti, 
quodque aliquid poscas et quod se stante recumbas. 65 
[maxima quaeque domus servis est plena superbis.] 
ecce alius quanto porrexit murmure panem 
vix fractum, solidae iam mucida frusta farinae, 
quae genuinum agitent, non admittentia morsum ; 
sed tener et niveus mollique siligine fictus 70 

servatur domino, dextram coliibere memento, 
salva sit artoptae reverentia. finge tamen te 
inprobulum, superest illic qui ponere cogat : 
" vis tu consuetis, audax conviva, canistris 
impleri panisque tui novisse colorem ? " 75 

" scilicet hoc fuerat, propter quod saepe relicta 
coniuge per montem adversum gelidasque cucurri 
Esquilias, fremeret saeva cum grandine vernus 
Iuppiter et multo stillaret paenula nimbo." 

Aspice quam longo distinguat J pectore lancem 80 
quae fertur domino squilla, et quibus undique saepta 
asparagis qua despiciat convivia cauda, 

1 distinguat P Vind. : diatendat *//. 


very pink of Asia, a youth bought for a sum bigger 
than the entire fortune of the warlike Tullus or 
Ancus, more valuable, in short, than all the chattels 
of all the kings of Rome. That being so, when you 
are thirsty look to your swarthy Ganymede. The 
page who has cost so many thousands cannot mix a 
drink for a poor man : but then his beauty, his 
youth, justify his disdain ! When will he get as far 
as you ? When does he listen to your request for 
water, hot or cold ? It is beneath him to attend to 
an old dependent ; he is indignant that you should 
ask for anything, and that you should be seated 
while he stands. All your great houses are full of 
saucy slaves. See with what a grumble another of 
them has handed you a bit of hard bread that you 
can scarce break in two, or lumps of dough that 
have turned mouldy — stuff that will exercise your 
grinders and into which no tooth can gain admit- 
tance. For Virro himself a delicate loaf is reserved, 
white as snow, and kneaded of the finest flour. Be 
sure to keep your hands off it : take no liberties with 
the bread-basket ! If you are presumptuous enough 
to take a piece, there will be someone to bid you put 
it down : " What, Sir Impudence ? Will you please 
fill yourself from your proper tray, and learn the 
colour of your own bread?" "What?" you ask, 
"was it for this that I would so often leave my wife's 
side on a spring morning and hurry up the chilly 
Esquiline when the spring skies were rattling down 
the pitiless hail, and the rain was pouring in streams 
off my cloak ? " 

80 See now that huge lobster being served to my 
lord, all garnished with asparagus ; see how his lordly 
breast distinguishes the dish; with what a tail he 



dum venit excelsi manibus sublata ministri. 

set tibi dimidio constrictus cammarus ovo 

ponitur exigua feralis cena patella. 85 

ipse Venafrano piscem perfundit : at hie qui 

pallidus adfertur misero tibi caulis olebit 

lanternam ; illud enim vestris datur alveolis quod 

canna Micipsarum prora subvexit acuta, 

propter quod Romae cum Boccare nemo lavatur, 90 

quod tutos etiam facit a serpentibus atris. 1 

Mullus erit domini, quern misit Corsica vel quem 
Tauromenitanae rupes, quando omne peractum est 
et iam defecit nostrum mare, dum gula saevit, 
retibus adsiduis penitus scrutante macello 95 

proxima, nee patimur Tyrrhenum crescere piscem. 
instruit ergo focum provincia, sumitur illinc 
quod captator emat Laenas, Aurelia vendat. 

Virroni muraena datur, quae maxima venit 
gurgite de Siculo ; nam dum se continet Auster, 100 
dum sedet et siccat madidas in carcere pinnas, 
contemnunt mediam temeraria lina Charybdim. 
vos anguilla manet longae cognata colubrae, 
aut glacie aspersus maculis Tiberinus, et ipse 
vernula l'iparum, pinguis torrente cloaca 105 

et solitus mediae cryptam penetrare Suburae. 

Ipsi pauca velim, facilem si pi\aebeat aurem. 
" nemo petit, modicis quae mittebantur amicis 

1 This line and vi. 126 are the only two lines omitted by P 
(excepting, of course, vi. 1-34). 

1 Tauromenium, on the E. coast of Sicily. 

2 Juvenal and other Roman writers are full of allusions to 
captalores, legacy-hunters, who showered presents of all 



looks down upon the company, borne aloft in the 
hands of that tall attendant ! Before you is placed 
on a tiny plate a crab hemmed in by half an egg — a 
fit banquet for the dead. The host souses his fish in 
Venafran oil ; the sickly greens offered to you, poor 
devil, will smell of the lamp ; for the stuff contained 
in your cruets was brought up the Tiber in a sharp- 
prowed Numidian canoe — stuff which prevents 
anyone at Rome sharing a bath with Bocchar, and 
which will even protect you from a black serpent's 

92 My lord will have a mullet dispatched from 
Corsica or the Rocks of Tauromenium : l for in the 
rage for gluttony our own seas have given out; the 
nets of the fish-market are for ever raking our home 
waters, and prevent Tyrrhenian fish from attaining 
their full size. And so the Provinces supply our 
kitchens; from the Provinces come the fish for the 
legacy-hunter Laenas to buy, and for Aurelia to send 
to market. 2 

99 Virro is served with a lamprey, the finest that 
the Straits of Sicily can purvey ; for so long as the 
South wind stays at home, and sits in his prison- 
house drying his dank wings, Charybdis has no terrors 
for the daring fisherman. For you is reserved an 
eel, first cousin to a water-snake, or perchance a pike 
mottled with ice-spots ; he too was bred on Tiber's 
banks and was wont to find his way into the inmost 
recesses of the Subura, battening himself amid its 
flowing sewers. 

107 And now one word with the great man himself, 
if he will lend his ear. « No one asks of you such 

kinds upon rich and childless old men or women. Aurelia 
sells the fish she has received as a present from Laenas. 



a Seneca, quae Piso bonus, quae Cotta solebat 
largiri ; namque et titulis et fascibus olim 110 

maior habebatur donandi gloria, solum 
poscimus ut cenes civiliter. hoc face et esto, 
estOj ut nunc multi, dives tibi, pauper amicis." 

Anseris ante ipsum magni iecuv, anseribus par 
altilis, et flavi dignus ferro Meleagri 115 

spumat l aper. post hunc tradentur tubera, si ver 
tunc erit et facient optata tonitrua cenas 
maiores. " tibi babe frumentum," Alledius inquit, 
"o Libye, disiunge boves, dum tubera mittas." 

Structorem interea, nequa indignatio desit, 120 
saltantem spectes et chironomunta volanti 
cultello, donee peragat dictata magistri 
omnia ; nee minimo sane discrimine refert, 
quo gestu lepores et quo gallina secetur. 
duceris planta velut ictus ab Hercule Cacus 125 

et ponere foris, si quid temptaveris umquam 
hiscere, tamquam habeas tria nomina. quando 

Virro tibi, sumitve tuis contacta labellis 
pocula ? quis vestrum temerarius usque adeo, quis 
perditus, ut dicat regi " bibe " ? plurima sunt quae 130 
non audent homines pertusa dicere laena. 
quadringenta tibi si quis deus aut similis dis 

1 spumat PSA : fumat \p. 

1 The word civiliter, from which our word "civil" comes, 
meant " as a citizen and an equal." 

2 The Aetolian hero who slew the Calydonian boar. 

3 Thunder was supposed to be favourable to the growth of 



Jordly gifts as Seneca, or the good Piso or Cotta, 
used to send to their humble friends : for in the days 
of old, the glory of giving was deemed grander than 
titles or fasces. All we ask of you is that you should 
dine with us as a fellow-citizen * : do this and remain, 
like so many others nowadays, rich for yourself and 
poor to your friends." 

114 Before Virro is put a huge goose's liver; a 
capon as big as a goose, and a boar, piping hot. 
worthy of yellow-haired Meleager's 2 steel. Then 
will come truffles, if it be spring-time and the longed- 
for thunder have enlarged our dinners. 3 " Keep your 
corn to yourself, O Libya ! " says Alledius ; " unyoke 
your oxen, if only you send us truffles ! " 

120 During all this time, lest any occasion for disgust 
should be wanting, you may behold the carver caper- 
ing and gesticulating with knife in air, and carrying 
out all the instructions of his preceptor : for it makes 
a mighty difference with what gestures a hare or a 
hen be carved ! If you ever dare to utter one word as 
though you were possessed of three names, 4 you will 
be dragged by the heels and thrust out of doors as 
Cacus was, after the drubbing he got from Hercules. 
When will Virro offer to drink wine with you? or 
take a cup that has been polluted by your lips? 
Which one of you would be so foolhardy, so lost to 
shame, as to say to your patron " A glass with you, 
Sir " ? No, no : there's many a thing which a man 
whose coat has holes in it cannot say ! But if some 
God, or god-like manikin more kindly than the fates, 
should present you with four hundred thousand 

4 i.e. as if you were a free-born Roman with the three 
necessary names— the praenomen, the nomen, and the cog- 



et melior fatis donaret homuncio, quantus, 

ex nihilo, quantus fieres Virronis amicus ! 

"da Trebio, pone ad Trebium. vis, frater, ab ipsis 135 

ilibus ? " o nummi, vobis liunc praestat honorem, 

vos estis fratres. dominus tamen et domini rex 

si vis tu fieri, null us tibi parvolus aula 

luserit Aeneas nee filia dulcior illo ; 

iucundum et carum sterilis facit uxor amicum. 140 

sed tua nunc Mycale pariat licet et pueros tres 

in gremium patris fundat semel, ipse loquaci 

gaudebit nido, viridem tlioraca iubebit 

adferri minimasque nuces assemque rogatum, 

ad mensam quotiens parasitus venerit infans. 145 

Vilibus ancipites fungi ponentur amicis, 
boletus domino, set quales Claudius edit 
ante ilium uxoris, post quern nihil amplius edit. 
Virro sibi et reliquis Virronibus ilia iubebit 
poma dari, quorum solo pascaris odore, 150 

qualia perpetuus Phaeacum autumnus habebat, 
credere quae possis subrepta sororibus Afris : 
tu scabie frueris mali, quod in aggere rodit 
qui tegitur parma et galea, metuensque flagelli 
discit ab hirsuta iaculum torquere capella. 155 

Forsitan inpensae Virronem parcere credas. 
hoc agit ut doleas ; nam quae comoedia, mimus 
quis melior plorante gula ? ergo omnia fiunt, 

1 i e. the fortune of an eques. See note on iii. 154-5. 

2 It was the childless that were courted for their money. 

3 Agrippina the younger. She poisoned her husband, the 
emperor, with a mushroom. * The Hesperides. 



sesterces, 1 O how great a personage would you be- 
come, from being a nobody; how dear a friend to 
Virro ! " Pray help Trebius to* this ! " " Let Trebius 
have some of that ! " « Would you like a cut just from 
the loin, good brother ? " O money, money ! It is to 
you that he pays this honour, it is you that are his 
brother ! Nevertheless, if you wish to be yourself a 
great man, and a great man's lord, let there be no 
little Aeneas playing about your halls, nor yet a 
little daughter, more sweet than he ; nothing will so 
endear you to your friend as a barren wife. 2 But as 
things now are, though your Mycale pour into your 
paternal bosom three boys at a birth, Virro will be 
charmed with the chattering brood, and will order 
little green jackets to be given them, and little nuts, 
and pennies too if they be asked for, when the 
little parasites present themselves at his table. 

146 Before the guests will be placed toadstools of 
doubtful quality, before my lord a noble mushroom, 
such a one as Claudius ate before that mushroom of his 
wife's 3 — after which he ate nothing more. To him- 
self and the rest of the Virros he will order apples 

to be served whose scent alone would be a feast 

apples such as grew in the never-failing Autumn of 
the Phaeacians, and which you might believe to 
have been niched from the African sisters ; 4 you are 
treated to a rotten apple like those munched on the 
ramparts by a monkey equipped with spear and 
shield who learns, in terror of the whip, to hurl a 
javelin from the back of a shaggy goat. 

156 You may perhaps suppose that Virro grudges 
the expense ; not a bit of it ! His object is to give 
you pain. For what comedy, what mime, is so 
amusing as a disappointed belly? His one object, 



si nescis, ut per lacrimas effundere bilem 

cogaris pressoque diu«tridere molari. 160 

tu tibi liber homo et regis conviva videris : 

captum te nidore suae putat ille culinae ; 

nee male coniectat : quis enim tarn nudus, ut ilium 

bis ferat, Etruscum puero si contigit aurum 

vel nodus tantum et signum de paupere loro ? 165 

spes bene cenandi vos decipit : " ecce dabit iam 

semesum leporem atque aliquid de clunibus apri, 

ad nos iam veniet minor altilis." inde parato 

intactoque omnes et stricto pane tacetis. 

ille sapit qui te sic utitur. omnia ferre 170 

si potes, et debes. pulsandum vertice raso 

praebebis quandoque caput, nee dura timebis 

flagra pati, his epulis et tali dignus amico. 


Credo Pudicitiam Saturno rege moratam 
in terris visamque diu, cum frigida parvas 
praeberet spelunca domos ignemque Laremque 
et pecus et dominos communi clauderet umbra, 
silvestrem montana torum cum sterneret uxor 
frondibus et culmo vicinarumque ferarum 



let me tell you, is to compel you to pour out your 
wrath in tears, and to keep gnashing your molars 
against each other. You think yourself a free man, 
and guest of a grandee ; he thinks— and he is not far 
wrong— that you have been captured by the savoury 
odours of his kitchen. For who that had ever worn 
the Etruscan bulla 1 in his boyhood,— or even the 
poor man's leather badge— could tolerate such a 
patron for a second time, however destitute he might 
be ? It is the hope of a good dinner that beguiles 
you : "Surely he will give us," you say, "what is left 
of a hare, or some scraps of a boar's haunch ; the 
remains of a capon will come our way by and by." 
And so you all sit in dumb silence, your bread 
clutched, untasted, and ready for action. In treating 
you thus, the great man shows his wisdom. If you 
can endure such things, you deserve them; some 
day you will be offering your head to be shaved and 
slapped : nor will you flinch from a stroke of the 
whip, well worthy of such a feast and such a friend. 


The Ways of Women 

In the days of Saturn,* I believe, Chastity still 
lingered on the earth, and was to be seen for a time 
—days when men were poorly housed in chilly caves, 
when one common shelter enclosed hearth and house- 
hold gods, herds and their owners ; when the hill-bred 
wife spread her silvan bed with leaves and straw and 
the skins of her neighbours the wild beasts— a wife not 
_ T The golden bulla, enclosing a charm, was the sign of free 
birth (ingenmtas). * i.e. in the golden days of innocence. 

G 2 


pellibus, haut similis tibi, Cynthia, nee tibi, cuius 

turbavit nitidos extinctus passer ocellos, 

sed potanda ferens infantibus ubera magnis 

et saepe horridior glandem ructante marito. 10 

quippe aliter tunc orbe novo caeloque recenti 

vivebant homines, qui rupto robore nati 

compositive luto nullos habuere parentes. 

multa Pudicitiae veteris vestigia forsan 

autaliqua exstiterint et sub love, set love nondum 15 

barbato, nondum Graecis iurare paratis 

per caput alterius, cum furem nemo timeret 

caulibus et pomis, et aperto viveret horto. 

paulatim deinde ad superos Astraea recessit 

hac comite, atque duae pariter fugere sorores. 20 

Anticum et vetus est alienum, Postume, lectum 
concutere atque sacri genium contemnere fulcri. 
omne aliud crimen mox ferrea protulit aetas : 
viderunt primos argentea saecula moechos. 
conventum tamen et pactum et sponsalia nostra 25 
tempestate paras, iamque a tonsore magistro 
pecteris, et digito pignus fortasse dedisti. 
certe sanus eras ; uxorem, Postume, ducis ? 
die, qua Tisiphone, quibus exagitare a colubris ? 
ferre potes dominam salvis tot restibus ullam, 30 

cum pateant altae caligantesque fenestrae, 

1 exagitare Pi// : exagitere 0. 

1 The Cynthia of Propertius. 

2 The Lesbia of Catullus. 

3 There was a legend that men had been born from oak- 

* Astraea, daughter of Zeus and Themis, was the last 



like to thee, O Cynthia, 1 nor to thee, Lesbia, 2 whose 
bright eyes were clouded by a sparrow's death, but 
one whose breasts gave suck to lusty babes, often 
more unkempt herself than her acorn-belching 
spouse. For in those days, when the world wa*s 
young, and the skies were new, men born of the 
riven oak, 3 or formed of dust, lived differently from 
now, and had no parents of their own. Under Jove, 
perchance, some few traces of ancient modesty may 
have survived ; but that was before he had grown 
his beard, before the Greeks had learned to swear by 
someone else's head, when men feared not thieves 
for their cabbages or apples, and lived with unwalled 
gardens. After that Astraea 4 withdrew by degrees 
to heaven, with Chastity as her comrade, the 5 two 
sisters taking flight together. 

21 To set your neighbour's bed a-shaking, Postu- 
mus, and to flout the Genius of the sacred couch, 5 is 
now an ancient and long-established practice. All 
other sins came later, the products of the age of Iron ; 
but it was the silver age that saw the first adulterers. 
Nevertheless, in these days of ours, you are pre- 
paring for a covenant, a marriage-contract and a 
betrothal ; you are by now getting your hair cut by 
a master barber; you have also perhaps given a 
pledge to her finger. What! Postumus, are you, 
you who once had your wits, taking to yourself a 
wife? Tell me what Tisiphone, what snakes are 
driving you mad ? Can you submit to a she-tyrant 
when there is so much rope to be had, so many 
dizzy heights of windows standing open, and when 

mortal to leave the earth when the Golden Age came to an 
end ; she was placed among the stars as Virgo. 

8 The fulcrum was the head of the couch, often ornamented 
with the figure of the Genius in bronze. 



cum tibi vicinum se praebeat Aemilius pons ? 
aut si de multis nullus placet exitus, illud 
nonne putas melius, quod tecum pusio dormit ? 
pusio qui noctu non litigat, exigit a te 35 

nulla iacens illic munuscula nee queritur quod 
et lateri parcas nee quantum iussit anheles. 

Sed placet Vrsidio lex Iulia, tollere dulcem 
cogitat heredern, cariturus turture magno 
mullorumque iubis et captatore macello. 40 

quid fieri non posse putes, si iungitur ulla 
Vrsidio ? si moechorum notissimus olim 
stulta maritali iam porrigit ora capistro, 
quem totiens texit perituri cista Latini ? 
quid quod et antiquis uxor de moribus illi 45 

quaeritur ? o medicr, nimiam pertundite venam. 
delicias hominis ! Tarpeium limen adora 
pronus et auratam Iunoni caede iuvencam, 
si tibi contigerit capitis matrona padici. 
paucae adeo Cereris x vittas contingere dignae, 50 
quarum non timeat pater oscula : necte coronam 
postibus et densos per limina tende corymbos. 
unus Hiberinae vir sufficit ? ocius illud 
extorquebis, ut haec oculo contenta sit uno. 
magna tamen fama est cuiusdam rure paterno 55 
viventis ? vivat Gabiis ut vixit in agro, 
vivat Fidenis, et agello cedo paterno. 
quis tamen adfirmat nil actum in montibus aut in 
speluncis ? adeo senuerunt Iuppiter et Mars? 

1 Cereris P<J/ : Housm. conj. teretis. 

1 A law to encourage marriage. 


the Aemilian bridge offers itself to hand ? Or if none 
of all these modes of exit hit your fancy, how much 
better to take some boy-bedfellow, who would never 
wrangle with you o' nights, never ask presents of you 
when in bed, and never complain that you took your 
ease and were indifferent to his solicitations ! 

38 But Ursidius approves of the Julian Law. 1 He 
purposes to bring up a dear little heir, though he will 
thereby have to do without the fine turtles, the 
bearded mullets, and all the legacy-hunting deli- 
cacies of the meat-market. What can you think 
impossible if Ursidius takes to himself a wife ? if he, 
who has long been the most notorious of gallants' 
who has so often found safety in the corn-bin of the 
luckless Latinus, 2 puts his head into the connubial 
noose ? And what think you of his searching for a 
wife of the good old virtuous sort? O doctors, lance 
his over-blooded veins. A pretty fellow you! Why, if 
you have the good luck to find a modest spouse, you 
should prostrate yourself before the Tarpeian thresh- 
old, and sacrifice a heifer with gilded horns to Juno; 
so few are the wives worthy to handle the fillets of 
Ceres, or from whose kisses their own father would 
not shrink ! Weave a garland for thy doorposts, and 
set up wreaths of ivy over thy lintel! But will 
Hiberina be satisfied with one man ? Sooner com- 
pel her to be satisfied with one eye ! You tell me 
of the high repute of some maiden, who lives on her 
paternal farm : well, let her live at Gabii, at Fidenae, 
as she lived in her own country, and I will believe 
in your paternal farm. But will anyone tell me that 
nothing ever took place on a mountain side or in 
a cave ? Have Jupiter and Mars become so senile ? 
2 An actor who played the part of a lover in hiding. 

' 87 


Porticibusne tibi monstratur femina voto 60 

digna tuo ? cuneis an habent spectacula totis 
quod securus ames quodque inde excerpere possis ? 
chironomon Ledam molli saltante Bathyllo 
Tuccia vesicae non imperat, Apula gannit 
sicut in amplexu subito et miserabile longum ; 65 
attendit Thymele : Thymele tunc rustica discit. 

Ast aliae, quotiens aulaea recondita cessant 
et vacuo clusoque sonant fora sola theatro, **'y + 
atque a plebeis longe Megalesia, tristes 
personam thyrsumque tenent et subligar Acci. 70 
Vrbicus exodio visum movet Atellanae 
gestibus Autonoes ; hunc diligit Aelia pauper, 
solvitur his magno comoedi fibula, sunt quae 
Chrysogonum cantare vetent, Hispulla tragoedo 
gaudet : an expectas ut Quintilianus ametur? 75 
accipis uxorem de qua citharoedus. Echion 
aut Glapbyrus fiat pater Ambrosiusque clioraules. 
longa per angustos figamus pulpita vicos, 
ornentur postes et grandi ianua lauro, 
ut testudineo tibi, Lentule, conopeo 80 

nobilis Euryalum aut murmillonem exprimat infans. 

Nupta senatori comitata est Eppia ludum 
ad Pharon et Nilum famosaque moenia Lagi, 

1 The Megalesian games begaa on the 4th of April and 
lasted for six days ; the Plebeian games took place early in 
November. 2 A famous singer. 

3 M. Fabius Quintilianus, the famous Roman rhetorician, 
a.d. 40-100. No grave and learned man like Quintilian will 
attract them. 

* The conopeum was properly a mosquito-net ; here it 
seems to be used for a bassinette or cradle, 6 A gladiator. 



60 Can our arcades show you one woman worthy of 
your vows ? Do all the tiers in all our theatres hold 
one whom you may love without misgiving, and 
pick out thence ? When the soft Bathyllus dances 
the part of the gesticulating Leda, Tuccia cannot 
contain herself; your Apulian maiden heaves a 
sudden and longing cry of ecstasy, as though she 
were in a man's arms ; the rustic Thymele is all 
attention, it is then that she learns her lesson. 

67 Others again, when all the stage draperies have 
been put away ; when the theatres are closed, and 
all is silent save in the courts, and the Megalesian 
games are far off from the Plebeian, 1 ease their 
dullness by taking to the mask, the thyrsus and the 
tights of Accius. Urbicus, in an Atellane interlude, 
raises a laugh by the gestures of Autonoe ; the 
penniless Aelia is in love with him. Other women 
pay great prices for the favours of a comedian ; some 
will not allow Chrysogonus 2 to sing. Hispulla has a 
fancy for tragedians ; but do you suppose that any 
one will be found to love Quintilian ? 3 If you marry 
a wife, it will be that the lyrist Echion or Glaphyrus, 
or the flute player Ambrosius, may become a father. 
Then up with a long dais in the narrow street ! 
Adorn your doors and doorposts with wreaths of 
laui-el, that your highborn son, O Lentulus, may 
exhibit, in his tortoiseshell cradle, 4 the lineaments 
of Euryalus 5 or of a murmillo ! 6 

82 When Eppia, the senator's wife, ran off with a 
gladiator 7 to Pharos and the Nile and the ill-famed 

8 A murmillo was equipped as a Gaulish warrior in heavy 
armour. He carried the image of a fish in his crest, whence 
the name jxopjxvpos or fiopfivKos. 

7 Ludus is properly a gladiatorial school, or a troop of 

8 9 


prodigia et mores urbis damnante Canopo. 
inmemor ilia domus et coniugis atque sororis 85 

nil patriae indulsit, plorantesque improba natos, 
utque magis stupeas, ludos Paridemque reliquit. 
sed quamquam in magnis opibus plumaque paterna 
et segmentatis dormisset parvula cunis, 
contempsit pelagus ; famam contempserat olim, 90 
cuius apud molles minima est iactura cathedras. 
Tyrrhenos igitur fluctus lateque sonantem 
pertulit Ionium constanti pectore, quamvis 
mutandum totiens esset mare, iusta pericli 
si ratio est et honesta, timent pavidoque gelantur 95 
pectore nee tremulis possunt insistere plantis : 
fortem animum praestant rebus quas turpiter audent. 
si iubeat coniunx, durum est conscendere navem ; 
tunc sentina gravis, tunc summus vertitur aer. 
quae moechum sequitur, stomacho valet, ilia 

maritum 100 

convomit, haec inter nautas et prandet et errat 
per puppem et duros gaudet tractai'e rudentis. 
Qua tamen exarsit forma, qua capta iuventa 
Eppia ? quid vidit propter quod ludia dici 
sustinuit? nam Sergiolus iam radere guttur 105 

coeperat et secto requiem sperare lacerto ; 
praeterea multa in facie deformia, sicut 
attritus galea mediisque in naribus ingens 
gibbus et acre malum semper stillantis ocelli, 
sed gladiator erat ; facit hoc illos Hyacinthos, 110 
hoc pueris patriaeque, hoc praetulit ilia sorori 



city of Lagos, Canopus itself cried shame upon the 
monstrous morals of our town. Forgetful of home, 
of husband and of sister, without thought of her 
country, she shamelessly abandoned her weeping 
children ; and — more marvellous still — deserted Paris 
and the games. Though born in wealth, though as 
a babe she had slept in a bedizened cradle on the 
paternal down, she made light of the sea, just as she 
had long made light of her good name — a loss but 
little accounted of among our soft litter-riding dames. 
And so with stout heart she endured the tossing and 
the roaring of the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas, and 
all the many seas she had to cross. For when danger 
comes in a right and honourable way, a woman's 
heart grows chill with fear ; she cannot stand upon 
her trembling feet : but if she be doing a bold, bad 
thing, her courage fails not. For a husband to order 
his wife on board ship is cruelty : the bilge-water 
then sickens her, the heavens go round and round. 
But if she is running away with a lover, she feels 
no qualms : then she vomits over her husband ; now 
she messes with the sailors, she roams about the 
deck, and delights in hauling at the hard ropes. 

103 And what were the youthful charms which 
captivated Eppia? What did she see in him to allow 
herself to be called " a she-Gladiator " ? Her dear 
Sergius had already begun to shave ; a wounded arm 
gave promise of a discharge, and there were sundry 
deformities in his face : a scar caused by the helmet, 
a huge wen upon his nose, a nasty humour always 
trickling from his eye. But then he was a gladiator! 
It is this that transforms these fellows into Hya- 
cinths ! it was this that she preferred to children and 
to country, to sister and to husband. What these 

9 1 


atque viro : ferrum est quod amant. hie Sergius idem 
accepta rude coepisset Veiento videri. 

Quid privata domus, quid fecerit Eppia, curas ? 
respiee ri vales divorum, Claudius audi 115 

quae tulerit. dormire viruro cum senserat uxor, 
ausa Palatino tegetem praeferre cubili, 
sumere nocturnos meretrix Augusta cucullos 
linquebat comite ancilla non amplius una> 
sed nigrum flavo crinem abscondente galero 120 

intravit calidum veteri centone lupanar 
et cellam vacuam atque suam ; tunc nuda papillis 
prostitit auratis titulum mentita Lyciscae 
ostenditque tuum, generose Britannice, ventrem. 
excepit blanda intrantis atque aera poposcit ; 125 
mox lenone suas iam dimittente puellas 127 

tristis abit, et quod potuit tamen ultima cellam 
clausit, adhuc ardens rigidae tentigine volvae, 
et lassata viris necdum satiata recessit, 130 

obscurisque genis turpis fumoque lucernae 
foeda lupanaris tulit ad pulvinar odorem. 

Hippomanes carmenque loquar coctumque vene- 
privignoque datum ? faciunt graviora coactae 
imperio sexus minimumque libidine peccant. 135 

" Optima set quare Censennia teste marito ? " 
bis quingena dedit : tanti vocat ille pudicam. 

1 Probably the husband. 

5 In allusion to the deification of the emperors. 

3 Messalina was the mother of Britannicus, b. a.d. 42. 



women love is the sword : had this same Sergius 
received his discharge, he would have been no better 
than a Veiento. 1 

114 Do the concerns of a private household and 
the doings of Eppia affect you ? Then look at those 
who rival the Gods, 2 and hear what Claudius en- 
dured. As soon as his wife perceived that her husband 
was asleep, this august harlot was shameless enough 
to prefer a common mat to the imperial couch. 
Assuming a night-cowl, and attended by a single 
maid, she issued forth ; then, having concealed her 
raven locks under a light-coloured peruque, she took 
her place in a brothel reeking with long-used cover- 
lets. Entering an empty cell reserved for herself, 
she there took her stand, under the feigned name of 
Lycisca, her nipples bare and gilded, and exposed to 
view the womb that bore thee, O nobly-born Britan- 
nicus ! 3 Here she graciously received all comers, 
asking from each his fee; and when at length the 
keeper dismissed the rest, she remained to the very 
last before closing her cell, and with passion still 
raging hot within her went sorrowfully away. Then 
exhausted but unsatisfied, with soiled cheeks, and 
begrimed with the smoke of lamps, she took back to 
the imperial pillow all the odours of the stews. 

J33 wiry tell of love potions and incantations, of 
poisons brewed and administered to stepsons, or of 
the grosser crimes to which women are driven by 
the imperious power of sex ? Their sins of lust are 
the least of all their sins. 

136 "But tell me why is Censennia, on her hus- 
band's testimony, the best of wives ? " She brought 
him a million sesterces ; that is the price at which 
he calls her chaste. He has not pined under the 



nee pharetris Veneris macer est aut lampade fervet : 
inde faces ardent, veniunt a dote sagittae. 
libertas emitur ; coram licet innuat atque 140 

rescribat : vidua est, locuples quae nupsit avaro. 

" Cur desiderio Bibulae Sertorius ardet ? " 
si verum excutias, facies, non uxor amatur. 
tres rugae subeant et se cutis arida laxet, 
fiant obscuri dentes oculique minores : 145 

"collige sarcinulas," dicet libertus, " et exi. 
iam gravis es nobis, et saepe emungeris. exi 
ocius" et " propera, sicco venit altera naso." 
interea calet et regnat poscitque maritum 
pastores et ovem Canusinam ulmosque Falernas ; 150 
quantulum in hoc ? pueros omnes, ergastula tota ; 
quodque domi non est, sed habet vicinus, ematur. 
mense quidem brumae, quo 1 iam mercator Iason 
clausus et armatis opstat casa Candida nautis, 
grandia tolluntur crystallina, maxima rursus 155 

myrrhina, deinde adamans notissimus et Beronices 
in digito factus pretiosior : hunc dedit olim 
barbarus incestae, dedit hunc 2 Agrippa sorori, 

1 quo PA : cum ifi. 

2 dedil hunc S^ : dedit hue P : Housm. conj. geslarc. 

1 This passage is thus explained : The lady buys various 
articles at the feast of the Sigillaria (December 17-20), so 
called from the statuettes which were then on sale. These 
and other articles were set out in canvas booths, which were 
built up against certain public buildings so as to screen 
them from view. One of these buildings was the Portico of 



darts of Venus ; he was never burnt by her torch. 
It was the dowry that lighted his fires, the dowry 
that shot those arrows ! That dowry bought liberty 
for her : she may make what signals, and write what 
love letters she pleases, before her husband's face ; 
the rich woman who marries a money-loving husband 
is as good as unmarried. 

H2 it Why does Sartorius burn with love for Bibula ? " 
If you shake out the truth, it is the face that he 
loves, not the woman. Let three wrinkles make 
their appearance; let her skin become dry and 
flabby ; let her teeth turn black, and her eyes lose 
their lustre: then will his freedman give her the 
order, "Pack up your traps and be off! you've be- 
come a nuisance ; you are for ever blowing your 
nose ; be off, and quick about it ! There's another 
wife coming who will not sniffle." But till that day 
comes, the lady rules the roast, asking her husband 
for shepherds and Canusian sheep, and elms for her 
Falernian vines. But that's a mere nothing : she asks 
for all his slave-boys, in town and country ; everything 
that her neighbour possesses, and that she does not 
possess, must be bought. Then in the winter time, 
when the merchant Jason is shut out from view, and 
his armed sailors are blocked out by the white booths, 1 
she will carry off huge crystal vases, vases bigger still 
of agate, and finally a diamond of great renown, 
made precious by the finger of Berenice. 2 It was 
given as a present long ago by the barbarian Agrippa 
to his incestuous sister, in that country where kino-s 

Agrippa on which there were paintings of the Argonauts. 
Thus "the merchant" Jason and his armed sailers were 
shut out and could not be seen. 

J Sister to King Agrippa II. (Acts, xxv. 23). 



observant ubi festa mero pede sabbata reges 

et vetus indulget senibus dementia poreis. 160 

" Nullane de tantis gresnbus tibi diffna videtur ? " 
sit formosa decens dives fecunda, vetustos 
porticibus disponat avos, intactior omni 
crinibus effusis bellum dirimente Sabina, 
rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cycno : 165 

quis feret uxorem cui constant omnia ? malo, 
malo Venusinam quam te, Cornelia, mater 
Graccliorum, si cum magnis virtutibus adfers 
grande supercilium et numeras in dote triumphos. 
tolle tuum, precor, Hannibalem victumque Sy- 

phacem 170 

in castris et cum tota Carthatnne migra. 

" Parce, precor, Paean, et tu,. dea, pone sagittas ; 
nil pueri faciunt, ipsam configite matrern," 
Amphion clamat ; sed Paean contrahit arcum. 
extulit ergo greges natorum ipsumque parentem, 175 
dum sibi nobilior Latonae gente videtur 
atque eadem scrofa Niobe fecundior alba, 
quae tanti gravitas, quae forma, ut se tibi semper 
imputet ? huius enim rari summique voluptas 
nulla boni, quotiens animo corrupta superbo 180 

plus aloes quam mellis habet. quis deditus autem 

1 Josephus relates that Berenice sacrificed at Jerusalem 
with dishevelled hair and bare feet. 

2 For Jewish abstinence from pork see Tac. Hist. v. 4. 

3 Alluding to the exploits of the elder Scipio. 

4 Husband of Niobe. 

9 6 


celebrate festal sabbaths with bare feet/ and where 
a long-established clemency suffers pigs to attain old 
age. 2 

lei ii d y OU sa y no worthy wife is to be found 
among all these crowds?" Well, let her be hand- 
some, charming, rich and fertile ; let her have ancient 
ancestors ranged about her halls ; let her be more 
chaste than the dishevelled Sabine maidens who 
stopped the war — a prodigy as rare upon the earth 
as a black swan ! yet who could endure a wife that 
possessed all perfections? I would rather have a 
Venusian wench for my wife than you, O Cornelia, 
mother of the Gracchi, if, with all your virtues, you 
bring me a haughty brow, and reckon up Triumphs 
as part of your marriage portion. Away with your 
Hannibal, I beseech you ! Away with Syphax over- 
powered in his camp ! Take yourself off, Carthage 
and all ! 3 

172 " Be merciful, I pray, O Apollo ! and thou, O god- 
dess, lay down thine arrows. These babes have done 
naught : shoot down their mother ! " Thus prayed 
Amphion ; 4 but Apollo bends his bow, and Niobe 5 
led forth to the grave her troop of sons, and their 
father to boot, because she deemed herself of nobler 
race than Latona, and more prolific than the white 
sow of Alba. For is any dignity in a wife, any 
beauty, worth the cost, if she is for ever reckoning 
up her merits against you ? These high and tran- 
scendent qualities lose all their charm when spoilt 
by a pride that savours more of aloes than of honey. 

5 Wife of Amphion, king of Thebes. Proud of her six 
sons and six daughters, she boasted herself against Lelo, 
mother of Apollo and Artemis. Indignant at her presump- 
tion, they slew all her children with arrows. 




usque adeo est, ut non illam quam laudibus effert 
horreat inque diem septenis oderit horis ? 

Quaedam parva quidem, sed non toleranda mantis, 
nam quid rancidius, quam quod se non putat ulla 185 
formosam nisi quae de Tusca Graecula facta est, 
de Sulmonensi mera Cecropis ? omnia Graece, 
cum sit turpe magis nostris nescire Latine ; 
hoc sermone pavent, hoc iram gaudia curas, 
hoc cuncta effundunt animi secreta : quid ultra? 190 
concumbunt Graece. dones tamen ista puellis : 
tune etiam, quam sextus et octogensimus annus 
pulsat, adhuc Graece ? non est hie sermo pudicus 
in vetula : quotiens lascivum intervenit illud 
£on/ xal \j/vxv, modo sub lodice relictis 1 195 

uteris in turba. quod enim non excitet inguen 
vox blanda et nequam ? digitos habet. ut tamen 

subsidant pinnae, dicas haec mollius Haemo 
quamquam et Carpophoro, facies tua conputat annos. 

Si tibi legitimis pactam iunctamque tabellis 200 
non es amaturus, ducendi nulla videtur 
causa, nee est quare cenam et mustacea perdas 
labente officio crudis donanda, nee illud 
quod prima pro nocte datur, cum lance beata 
Dacicus et scripto radiat Germanicus auro. 205 

si tibi simplicitas uxoria, deditus uni 
est animus, summitte caput cervice parata 
ferre iugum. nullam invenies quae parcat amanti : 

1 Housm. conj. ferendis for the relictis of Pi//, 

1 Sulmo, in the Pelignian country, was the birthplace of 
Ovid. a Names of actors. 

3 Alluding to the gold coins (aurei) minted by Trajan 
in honour of his victories. The aureus was about equal in 
metal value to our guinea. 

9 8 


And who was ever so enamoured as not to shrink 
from the woman whom he praises to the skies, 
and to hate her for seven hours out of every 
twelve ? 

184 Some small faults are intolerable to husbands. 
What can be more offensive than this, that no woman 
believes in her own beauty unless she has converted 
herself from a Tuscan into a Greekling, or from a 
maid of Sulmo * into a maid of Athens ? They talk 
nothing but Greek, though it is a greater shame for 
our people to be ignorant of Latin. Their fears and 
their wrath, their joys and their troubles— all the 
secrets of their souls — are poured forth in Greek ; 
their very loves are carried on in Greek fashion. All 
this might be pardoned in a girl ; but will you, 
who are hard on your eighty-sixth year, still talk in 
Greek ? That tongue is not decent in an old woman's 
mouth. When you come out with the wanton words 
&V Kal tl/vx^j, you are using in public the language 
of the bed-chamber. Caressing and naughty words 
like these incite to love ; but though you say them 
more tenderly than a Haemus or a Carpophorus, 2 

they will cause no fluttering of the heart your 

years are counted up upon your face ! 

200 If you are not to love the woman betrothed 
and united to you in due form, what reason have 
you for marrying? Why waste the supper, and the 
wedding cakes to be given to the well-filled guests 
when the company is slipping away— to say nothing 
of the first night's gift of a salver rich with glittering 
gold inscribed with Dacian or Germanic victories ? 3 
If you are honestly uxorious, and devoted to one 
woman, then bow your head and submit your neck 
to the yoke. Never will you find a woman who spares 



ardeat ipsa licet, tormentis gaudet amantis 

et spoliis ; igitur longe minus utilis illi 210 

uxor, quisquis erit bonus optandusque maritus, 

nil umquam invita donabis coniuge, vendes 

hac opstante nihil, nihil, haec si nolet, emetur. 

haec dabit affectus : ille excludatur amicus 

iam senior, cuius barbam tua ianua vidit. 215 

testandi cum sit lenonibus atque lanistis 

libertas et iuris idem contingat harenae, 

non unus tibi rivalis dictabitur heres. 

" Pone crucem servo." "meruit quo crimine 

supplicium ? quis testis adest ? quis detulit ? audi ; 220 
nulla umquam de morte hominis cunctatio longa 

" o demens, ita servus homo est ? nil fecerit, esto : 
hoc volo, sic iubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas." 
imperat ergo viro. set mox haec regna relinquit 
permutatque domos et flammea content, inde 225 
avolat et spreti repetit vestigia lecti ; 
ornatas paulo ante fores, pendentia linquit 
vela domus et adhuc virides in limine ramos. 
sic crescit numerus, sic fiunt octo mariti 
quinque per autumnos. titulo res digna sepulchri. 230 

Desperanda tibi salva concordia socru. 
ilia docet spoliis nudi gaudere mariti, 



the man who loves her; for though she be herself 
aflame, she delights to torment and plunder him. 
So the better the man, the more desirable he be as a 
husband, the less good will he get out of his wife. 
No present will you ever make if your wife forbids ; 
nothing will you ever sell if she objects; nothing 
will you buy without her consent. She will arrange 
your friendships for you; she will turn your now- 
aged friend from the door which saw the beginnings 
of his beard. Panders and trainers can make their 
wills as they please, as also can the gentlemen of 
the arena ; but you will have to write down among 
your heirs more than one rival of your own. 

219 " Crucify that slave ! " says the wife. « But 
what crime worthy of death has he committed ? " asks 
the husband ; « where are the witnesses ? who in- 
formed against him ? Give him a hearing at least ; no 
delay can be too long when a man's life is at stake !" 
" What, you numskull ? You call a slave a man, do 
you? He has done no wrong, you say? Be it so; 
but this is my will and my command : let my will be 
the voucher for the deed." Thus does she lord it 
over her husband. But before long she vacates her 
kingdom ; she Hits from one home to another, wear- 
ing out her bridal veil ; then back she flies again and 
returns to her own imprints in the bed that she has 
abandoned, leaving behind her the newly decorated 
door, the festal hangings on the walls, and the gar- 
lands still green over the threshold. Thus does the 
tale of her husbands grow ; there will be eight of 
them in the course of five autumns — a fact worthy 
of commemoration on her tomb ! 

231 Give up all hope of peace so long as your 
mother-in-law is alive. It is she that teaches her 



ilia docet missis a corruptore tabellis 

nil rude nee simplex rescribere, decipit ilia 

custodes aut aere domat ; tunc corpore sano 235 

advocat Archigenen onerosaque pallia iactat. 

abditus interea latet et secretus adulter, 

inpatiensque morae silet et praeputia ducit. 

scilicet expectas ut tradat mater honestos 

atque alios mores quam quos habet ? utile porro 240 

filiolam turpi vetulae producere turpem. 

Nulla fere causa est in qua non femina litem 
moverit. accusat Manilia, si rea non est. 
conponunt ipsae per se formantque libellos, 
principium atque locos Celso dictare paratae. 245 

Endromidas Tyrias et femineum ceroma 
quis nescit, vel quis non vidit vulnei-a pali, 
quem cavat adsiduis rudibus scutoque lacessit 
atque omnes implet numeros dignissima prorsus 
Florali matrona tuba, nisi si quid in illo 250 

pectore plus agitat veraeque paratur harenae. 
quem praestare potest mulier galeata pudorem, 
quae fugit a sexu ? vires amat : haec tamen ipsa 
vir nollet fieri, nam quantula nostra voluptas ! 
quale decus, rerum si coniugis auctio fiat, 255 

balteus et manicae et cristae crurisque sinistri 
dimidium tegimen ! vel, si diversa movebit 

1 A fashionable doctor of the day. 

2 Either a jurist or a rhetorician. 

3 The endromis was a coarse, woollen cloak in which 
athletes wrapped themselves after their exercises. 

4 Games in honour of Flora (April 28-May 3), at which 
much female licence was allowed. 

6 i.t. a gladiatorial contest. 



daughter to revel in stripping and despoiling her 
husband ; it is she that teaches her to reply to a 
seducer's love-letters in no plain and honest fashion ; 
she eludes or bribes your guards ; it is she that calls 
in Archigenes 1 when your daughter has nothing the 
matter with her, and tosses off the heavy blankets ; 
the lover meanwhile is in secret and silent hiding, 
trembling with impatience and expectation. Do you 
really expect the mother to teach her daughter 
honest ways — ways different from her own? Nay, 
the vile old woman finds a profit in bringing up her 
daughter to be vile. 

242 There never was a case in court in which the 
quarrel was not started by a woman. If Manilia is 
not a defendant, she'll be the plaintiff; she will her- 
self frame and adjust the pleadings ; she will be 
ready to instruct Celsus 2 himself how to open his 
case, and how to urge his points. 

2« Why need I tell of the purple wraps 3 and the 
wrestling-oils used by women ? Who has not seen 
one of them smiting a stump, piercing it through and 
through with a foil, lunging at it with a shield, and 
going through all the proper motions ?- — a matron 
truly qualified to blow a trumpet at the Floralia ! 4 
Unless, indeed, she is nursing some further ambition 
in her bosom, and is practising for the real arena. 
What modesty can you expect in a woman who wears 
a helmet, abjures her own sex, and delights in feats 
of strength ? Yet she would not choose to be a man, 
knowing the superior joys of womanhood. What a 
fine thing for a husband, at an auction of his wife's 
effects, to see her belt and armlets and plumes put up 
for sale, with a gaiter that covers half the left leg ; 
or if she fight another sort 5 of battle, how charmed 



proelia, tu felix ocreas vendente puella. 

hae sunt quae tenui sudant in cyclade, quarum 

delicias et panniculus bombycinus urit. 260 

aspice quo fremitu monstratos perferat ictus 

et quanto galeae curvetur pondere, quanta 

poplitibus sedeat quam denso fascia libro, 

et ride positis scaphium cum sumitur armis. 

dicite vos, neptes Lepidi caecive Metelli 265 

Gurgitis aut Fabii, quae ladia sumpserit umquam 

bos babitus, quando ad palum gemat uxor Asyli. 

Semper babet lites alternaque iurgia lectus 
in quo nupta iacet ; minimum dormitur in illo. 
turn gravis ilia viro, tunc orba tigride peior, 270 

cum simulat gemitus occulti conscia facti ; 
aut odit pueros aut ficta paelice plorat, 
uberibus semper lacrimis semperque paratis 
in statione sua atque expectantibus illam, 
quo iubeat manare modo ; tu ci'edis amorem, 275 
tu tibi tunc, uruca, places fletumque labellis 
exorbes, quae scripta et quot lecture tabellas, 
si tibi zelotypae retegantur scrinia moecbae ! 
sed iacet in servi complexibus aut equitis. " die, 
die aliquem sodes hie, Quintiliane, colorem." 280 
" haeremus. die ipsa." " olim convenerat," inquit, 
" ut faceres tu quod velles, nee non ego possem 
indulgere mihi. clames licet et mare caelo 

1 Supposed to be a gladiator. 

2 The famous Roman rhetorician, b. A.D. 44, author of the 
Institutiones Oratoriae. 



you will be to see your young wife disposing of her 
greaves ! Yet these are the women who find the 
thinnest of thin robes too hot for them ; whose deli- 
cate flesh is chafed by the finest of silk tissue. See 
how she pants as she goes through her prescribed 
exercises; how she bends under the weight of her 
helmet ; how big and coarse are the bandages which 
enclose her haunches ; and then laugh when she lays 
down her arms and shows herself to be a woman ! 
Tell us, ye grand-daughters of Lepidus, or of the blind 
Metellus, or of Fabius Gurges, what gladiator's wife 
ever assumed accoutrements like these ? When did 
the wife of Asylus 1 ever gasp against a stump ? 

268 The bed that holds a wife is never free from 
wrangling and mutual bickerings ; no sleep is to be 
got there ! It is there that she sets upon her husband, 
more savage than a tigress that has lost her cubs ; 
conscious of her own secret slips, she affects a 
grievance, abusing his slaves, or weeping over some 
imagined mistress. She has an abundant supply of 
tears always ready in their place, awaiting her com- 
mand in which fashion they should flow. You, poor 
dolt, are delighted, believing them to be tears of 
love, and kiss them away; but what notes, what 
love-letters would you find if you opened the desk 
of your green-eyed adulterous wife ! If you find her 
in the arms of a slave or of a knight, "Speak, speak, 
Quintilian, 2 give me one of your colours, 3 " she will 
say. But Quintilian has none to give: "find it 
yourself," says he. "We agreed long ago," says the 
lady, "that you were to go your way, and I mine. 
You may confound sea and sky with your bellowing, 

3 Color is a technical term in rhetoric, denoting an argu- 
ment which puts a favourable or palliative light on some act. 



uonfundas, homo sum." nihil est audacius illis 
deprensis : iram atque animos a crimine sumunt. 285 

Unde haec monstra tamen vel quo de fonte, 
requiris ? 
praestabat castas humilis fortuna Latinas 
quondam, nee vitiis contingi parva sinebant 
tecta labor somnique breves et vellere Tusco 
vexatae duraeque manus ac proximus urbi 290 

Hannibal et stantes Collina turre mariti. 
nunc patimur longae pacis mala, saevior armis 
luxuria incubuit victumque ulciscitur orbem. 
nullum crimen abest facinusque libidinis, ex quo 
paupertas Romana perit. hinc fluxit ad istos 295 
et Sybaris colles, hinc et Rhodos et Miletos 
atque coronatum et petulans madidumque Tarentum. 
prima peregrinos obscaena pecunia mores 
intulit, et turpi fregerunt saecula luxu 
divitiae molles. quid enim Venus ebria curat? 300 
inguinis et capitis quae sint discrimina, nescit 
grandia quae mediis iam noctibus ostrea mordet, 
cum perfusa mero spumant unguenta Falerno, 
cum bibitur concha, cum iam vertigine tectum 
ambulat et geminis exsurgit mensa lucernis. 305 

I nunc et dubita, qua sorbeat aera sanna 
Tullia, quid dicat notae collactea Maurae 
Maura, Pudicitiae veterem cum praeterit aram. 
noctibus hie ponunt lecticas, micturiunt hie 
effigiemque deae longis siphonibus implent 310 

1 For Hannibal at the Colline Gate, B.C. 213, see Liv. 
xxvi 10. 

8 Mr. Duff explains this of a scene in the theatre in Taren- 
tum when the people, garlanded in honour of Dionysus, 
insulted the Roman ambassador (Dio. Cass, fragm. 145). 



I am a human being after all." There's no effrontery 
like that of a woman caught in the act ; her very 
guilt inspires her with wrath and insolence. 

2S(3 But whence come these monstrosities ? you ask ; 
from what fountain do they flow ? In days of old, the 
wives of Latium were kept chaste by their humble 
fortunes. It was toil and brief slumbers that kept 
vice from polluting their modest homes ; hands chafed 
and hardened by Tuscan fleeces, Hannibal nearing 
the city, and husbands standing to arms at the 
Colline gate. 1 We are now suffering the calamities 
of long peace. Luxury, more deadly than any foe, 
has laid her hand upon us, and avenges a conquered 
world. Since the day when Roman poverty perished, 
no deed of crime or lust has been wanting to us ; 
from that moment Sybaris and Rhodes and Miletus 
have poured in upon our hills, with the begarlanded 
and drunken and unabashed Tarentum. 2 Filthy lucre 
first brought in amongst us foreign ways; wealth 
enervated and corrupted the ages with foul indul- 
gences. What decency does Venus observe when she 
is drunken ? when she knows not one member from 
another, eats giant oysters at midnight, pours foaming 
unguents into her unmixed Falernian, and drinks out 
of perfume-bowls, while the roof spins dizzily round, 
the table dances, and every light shows double ! 

306 Go to now and wonder what means the sneer 
with which Tullia snuffs the air, or what Maura 
whispers to her ill-famed foster-sister, when she 
passes by the ancient altar of Chastity ? 3 It is there 
that they set down their litters at night, and befoul 
the image of the Goddess, playing their filthy pranks 

3 The ancient Temple of Pudicitia was in the Forum 



inque vices equitant ac Luna teste moventur ; 
inde domos abeunt : tu calcas luce reversa 
coniugis urinam magnos visums amicos. 

Nota bonae secreta deae, cum tibia lumbos 
incitat et cornu pariter vinoque feruntur 315 

attonitae crinemque rotant ululantque Priapi 
maenades. o quantus tunc illis mentibus ardor 
concubitus, quae vox saltante libidine, quantus 
ille meri veteris per crura madentia torrens ! 
lenonum ancillas posita Saufeia corona 320 

provocat ac tollit pendentis praemia coxae ; 
ipsa Medullinae fluctum crisantis adorat : 
palma inter dominas, virtus natalibus aequa. 
nil ibi per ludum simulabitur, omnia fient 
ad verumj quibus incendi iam frigidus aevo 325 

Laomedontiades et Nestoris hirnea possit. 
tunc prurigo morae inpatiens, turn femina simplex, 
ac pariter toto repetitus clamor ab antro 
"iam fas est, admitte viros." si dormit adulter, 
ilia iubet sumpto iuvenem properare cucullo ; 330 
si nihil est, servis incurritur ; abstuleris spem 
servorum, veniet conductus aquarius ; hie si 
quaeritur et desunt homines, mora nulla per ipsam, 
quo minus imposito clunem summittat asello. 
atque utinam ritus veteres et publica saltern 335 

his intacta malis agerentur sacra ! sed omnes 
noverunt Mauri atque Indi quae psaltria penem 
maiorem, quam sunt duo Caesaris Antieatones, 
illuc, testiculi sibi conscius unde fugit mus, 
intulerit, ubi velari pictura iubetur 340 

quaecumque altei-ius sexus imitata figuras. 

Et quis tunc hominum contemptor numinis ? 
aut quis 
simpuvium ridere Numae nigrumque catinum 



for the mom to witness. Thence home they go ; while 
you, when daylight comes, and you are on your way 
to salute your mighty friends, will tread upon the 
traces of your wife's abominations. 

314 Well known to all are the mysteries of the 
Good Goddess, when the flute stirs the loins and the 
Maenads of Priapus sweep along, frenzied alike by 
the horn-blowing and the wine, whirling their locks 
and howling. What foul longings burn within their 
breasts ! What cries they utter as the passion palpi- 
tates within ! How drenched their limbs in torrents 
of old wine ! Saufeia challenges the slave-girls to a 
contest. Her agility wins the prize, but she has 
herself in turn to bow the knee to Medullina. And 
so the palm remains with the mistress, whose ex- 
ploits match her birth ! There is no pretence in the 
game; all is enacted to the life in a manner that 
would warm the cold blood of a Priam or a Nestor. 
And now impatient nature can wait no longer : 
woman shows herself as she is, and the cry comes 
from every corner of the den, " Let in the men ! " 
If one favoured youth is asleep, another is bidden to 
put on his cowl and hurry along; if better cannot 
be got, a run is made upon the slaves ; if they too 
fail, the water-carrier will be paid to come in. O 
would that our ancient practices, or at least our 
public rites, were not polluted by scenes like these ! 
But every Moor and every Indian knows how Clodius 
forced his way into a place from which every buck- 
mouse scuttles away conscious of his virility, and in 
which no picture of the male form may be exhibited 
except behind a veil. 

34 - Who ever sneered at the Gods in the days of 
old ? Who would have dared to laugh at the earthen- 



et Vaticano fragiles de monte patellas 

ausus erat ? sed nunc ad quas non Clodius aras ? 345 

[Audio quid veteres olim moneatis amici : 
"pone seram, cohibe." x sed quis custodiet ipsos 
custodes ? cauta est et ab illis incipit uxor. 2 ] 
iamque eadem su minis pariter minimisque libido, 
nee melior, silicem pedibus quae content atrum, 350 
quam quae longorum veliitur cervice Syrorum. 

Ut spectet ludos, conducit Ogulnia vestem, 
conducit comites sellam cervical arnicas 
nutricem et flavam cui det mandata puellam. 
haec tamen argenti superest quodcumque paterni 355 
levibus athletis et vasa novissima donat ; 
multis res angusta domi, sed nulla pudorem 
paupertatis habet nee se metitur ad ilium 
quern dedit haec posuitque modum. tamen utile 

quid sit 
prospiciunt aliquando virl, frigusque famemque 360 
formica tandem quidam expavere magistra : 
prodiga non sentit pereuntem femina censum. 
ac velut exhausta redivivus pullulet area 
nummus et e pleno tollatur semper acervo, 
non umquam reputant quanti sibi gaudia con- 

stent. 3 365 

1 P here has the false reading prohibe for cohibe. 

2 Lines 346-348 are obviously out of place. They are 
repeated below, with an addition, in their proper place in 


3 The following thirty-four lines, marked 1-34, which 
are now accepted as genuine by Juvenalian critics, were dis- 
covered in 1899 by Mr. E. 0. Winstedt in a Bodleian MS. 
(Canonicianus 41), now known by the letter 0. For the 
announcement of this discovery see Classical Review, May, 
1899, pp. 201 foil. The passage is in many places obscure ; 
many of the readings are uncertain ; and Professor Housman 
has kindly permitted me to insert as above his paraphrase of 

1 io 


ware bowls or black pots of Numa, or the brittle 
plates made out of Vatican clay ? But nowadays at 
what altar will you not find a Clodius ? 1 

346 I hear all this time the advice of my old 
friends — keep your women at home, and put them 
under lock and key. Yes, but who will watch the 
warders ? Wives are crafty and will begin with them. 
High or low their passions are all the same. She 
who wears out the black cobble-stones with her 
bare feet is no better than she who rides upon the 
necks of eight stalwart Syrians. 

352 Ogulnia hires clothes to see the games ; she 
hires attendants, a litter, cushions, female friends, 
a nurse, and a fair-haired girl to run her messages ; 
yet she will give all that remains of the family pfate,' 
down to the last flagon, to some smooth-faced athlete. 
Many of these women are poor, but none of them pay 
any regard to their poverty, or measure themselves 
by the standard which that prescribes and lays down 
for them. Men, on the other hand, do sometimes 
have an eye to utility; the ant has at last taught 
some of them to dread cold and hunger. But your 
extravagant woman is never sensible of her dwindling 
means; and just as though money were for ever 
sprouting up afresh from her exhausted coffers, and 
she had always a full heap to draw from, she never 
gives a thought to what her pleasures cost her. 

1 Alluding to the profanation of the mysteries of the Bona 
Dea by Clodius, in B.C. 62, by appearing in the disguise of a 
female lutist. 

the passage as a whole which he published in the G.R. for 
June, 1S99, p. 268, and which he subsequently corrected for 
lines 9-12 (G.R. 1904, pp. 395-8). He has also kindly 
supplied me with a version of line 18 which he left un- 
translated in his original version. 



In quacumque domo vivit luditque professus O 1 
obscenum, tremula promittit et omnia dextra, 
invenies omnis turpes similesque cinaedis. 
his violare cibos sacraeque adsistere mensae 
permittunt, et vasa iubent frangenda lavari, O 5 

cum colocyntha bibit vel cum barbata chelidon. 
purior ergo tuis laribus meliorque lanista, 
in cuius numero longe migrare iubetur 
psellus 1 ab Eupholio ; quid quod nee retia turpi 
iunguntur tunicae, nee cella ponit eadem O 10 

munimenta umeri pulsatamque arma 2 tridentem 
qui nudus pugnare solet? pars ultima ludi 
accipit has animas aliusque in carcere nervos. 
sed tibi communem calicem facit uxor et illis, 
cum quibus Albanum Surrentinumque recuset O 15 
flava ruinosi lupa degustare sepulchri. 
horum consiliis nubunt subitaeque recedunt, 
his languentem animum servant et seria vitae, 
his clunem atque latus discunt vibrare magistris, 
quicquid praeterea scit qui docet. haud tamen 

illi O 20 

semper habenda fides : oculos fuligine pascit 
distinctus croceis et reticulatus adulter, 
suspectus tibi sit quanto vox mollior et quo 
saepius in teneris haerebit dextera lumbis. 
hie erit in lecto fortissimus : exuit illic O 25 

personam docili Thais saltata Triphallo. 
"quern rides ? aliis hunc mimum ! sponsio fiat : 
purum te contendo virum. contendo : fateris ? 
an vocat ancillas tortoris pergula? " 

consilia et veteres quaecumque monetis amici : O 30 

1 p.seZ/ussoHousm.andOwen: reads psttlus : Biich. Psyl- 
lus. Eupholio : Housm. reads euphono : Biich. conj. Euhoplio. 



01 a 

Whenever a cinaedus is kept he taints the 
household. Folks let these fellows eat and drink 
with them, and merely have the vessels washed, 
not shivered to atoms as they should be when such 
lips have touched them. So even the lanista's 
establishment is better ordered than yours, for he 
separates the vile from the decent, and sequesters 
even from their fellow-retiarii the wearers of the ill- 
famed tunic; in the training-school, and even in 
gaol, such creatures herd apart; but your wife 
condemns you to drink out of the same cup as these 
gentry, with whom the poorest trull would refuse to 
sip the choicest wine. Them do women consult 
about marriage and divorce, with their society do 
they relieve boredom or business, from them do they 
learn lascivious motions and whatever else the teacher 
knows. But beware! that teacher is not always 
what he seems: true, he darkens his eyes and 
dresses like a woman, but adultery is his design. 
Mistrust him the more for his show of effeminacy; 
he is a valiant mattress-knight; there Triphallus 
drops the mask of Thais. Whom are you fooling? 1 
not me ; play this farce to those who cannot pierce 
the masquerade. I wager you are every inch a man ; 
do you own it, or must we wring the truth out of 
the maid-servants ? " 

029 I know well the advice and warnings of my old 
1 He now addresses the cinaedus himself. 

8 reads pulsatamque arma : Housm. conj. pulsata has- 
lamque : pulsata arcaque Owen : pulsantemque Postgate : 
Buch. conj. pulsaloremque tridentem and compares vi. 4u 



"pone seram, cohibe." sed quis custodiat 1 ipsos 
custodes, qui nunc lascivae furta puellae 
hac mercede silent ? crimen commune tacetur : 
prospicit hoc prudens et ab illis incipit uxor. ... 034 

Sunt quas eunuchi inbelles ac mollia semper 366 
oscula delectent et desperatio barbae 
et quod abortivo non est opus, ilia voluptas 
summa tamen, quod iam calida matura iuventa 
inguina traduntur medicis, iam pectine nigro ; 370 
ergo expectatos ac iussos crescere primum 
testiculos, postquam coeperunt esse bilibres, 
tonsoris damno tantum rapit Heliodorus. 2 
conspicuus longe cunctisque notabilis intrat 
balnea nee dubie custodem vitis et horti 375 

provocat a domina factus spado, dormiat ille 
cum domina, sed tu iam durum, Postume, iamque 
tondendum eunucho Bromium committere noli. 

Si gaudet cantu, nullius fibula durat 
vocem vendentis praetoribus. organa semper 380 
in manibus, densi radiant testudine tota 
sardonyches ; crispo numerantur pectine chordae, 
quo tener Hedymeles operas dedit : hunc tenet, 

hoc se 
solatur, gratoque indulget basia plectro. 
quaedam de numero Lamiarum ac nominis Appi 385 
et farre et vino Ianum Vestamque rogabat, 
an Capitolinam deberet Pollio quercum 
sperare et fidibus promittere. quid faceret plus 
aegrotante viro, medicis quid tristibus erga 
filiolum ? stetit ante aram nee turpe putavit 390 

pro cithara velare caput dictataque verba 
pertulit, ut mos est, et aperta palluit agna. 

1 here reads custodiat, but P^ have cuslodiet in the 
repeated passage, line 347. 



friends : " Put on a lock and keep your wife indoors." 
Yes, and who will ward the warders ? They get paid in 
kind for holding their tongues as to their young lady's 
escapades; participation seals their lips. The wily 
wife arranges accordingly, and begins with them. . . . 
379 If your wife is musical, none of those who sell 
their voices 1 to the praetor will hold out against her 
charms. She is for ever handling musical instru- 
ments; her sardonyx rings sparkle thick all over 
the tortoise-shell ; the quivering quill with which 
she runs over the chords will be that with which 
the gentle Hedymeles performed; she hugs it, 
consoles herself with it, and lavishes kisses on the 
dear implement. A certain lady of the lineage of 
the Lamiae and the Appii 2 inquired of Janus? and 
Vesta, with offerings of cake and wine, whether 
Pollio could hope for the Capitoline oak-chaplet and 
promise victory to his lyre. 3 What more could she 
have done had her husband been ill, or if the doctors 
had been shaking their heads over her dear little 
son? There she stood before the altar, thinkino- it 
no shame to veil her head 4 on behalf of a harper; 
she repeated, in due form, all the words prescribed 
to her; her cheek blanched when the lamb was 
opened. Tell me now, I pray, O father Janus, thou 

1 i.e. professionals who sing for hire on public occasions, 
i.e. of a noble family. 

• Vf" p r \ Z l of o ak -. le . ave s wraa given at the agon Capitolinus, 

instituted by Domitian. Pollio was a player on the ciihara 

lo veil the head was part of the ceremony at a sacrifice. 

2 Between lines 373 and 374 the MS. gives the following 
'O lines ; — ' ° 

two lines : 

mangpnum pueros vera ac miserabilis urit 
debilitas follisque pudet cicerisquc relicti. 

i 2 

JI 5 


die mihi nunc quaeso, die, antiquissime divom, 
respondes his, lane pater ? magna otia eaeli ; 
non est, quod video, non est quod agatur aput vos. 395 
haec de comoedis te consulit, ilia tragoedum 
commendare volet, varicosus net haruspex. 

Sed cantet potius quam totam pervolet urbem 
audax et coetus possit quae ferre virorum 
cumque paludatis ducibus praesente marito 400 

ipsa loqui recta facie. siccisque mamillis. 
haec eadem novit quid toto fiat in orbe, 
quid Seres, quid Thraces agant, secreta novercae 
et pueri, quis amet, quis diripiatur adulter ; 
dicet quis viduam praegnatem fecerit et quo 405 

mense, quibus verbis concumbat quaeque, modis quot. 
instantem regi Armenio Parthoque cometen 
prima videt, famam rumoresque ilia recentis 
excipit ad portas, quosdam facit ; isse Niphaten 
in populos magnoque illic cuncta arva * teneri 410 
diluvio, nutare urbes, subsidere terras 
quocumque in trivio cuicumque est obvia, narrat. 
1 Nee tamen id vitium magis intolerabile quam quae 2 
vicinos humiles rapere et concidere loris 
exorata 3 solet. nam si latratibus alti 415 

rumpuntur somni, " fustes hue ocius," inquit, 
" adferte " atque illis dominum iubet ante feriri, 
deinde canem, gravis occursu, taeterrima vultu. 

1 arva ^/ : arma P. 

2 quodty: quae?. ...... 

s exorata <J/ , exortata P Housm. Buch. (19 J u). 



most ancient of the Gods, dost thou answer such as 
she ? You have much time on your hands in heaven ; 
so far as I can see, there is nothing for you Gods to do. 
One lady consults you about a comedian, another 
wishes to commend to you a tragic actor ; the sooth- 
sayer will soon be troubled with varicose veins. 1 

398 Bettei', however, that your wife should be 
musical than that she should be rushing boldly about 
the entire city, attending men's meetings, talking 
with unflinching face and hard breasts to Generals in 
their military cloaks, with her husband looking on ! 
This same woman knows what is going on all over 
the world : what the Thracians and Chinese are 
after, what has passed between the stepmother and 
the stepson ; she knows who loves whom, what 
gallant is the rage ; she will tell you who got the 
widow with child, and in what month ; how every 
woman behaves to her lovers, and what she says to 
them. She is the first to notice the comet threaten- 
ing the kings of Armenia and Parthia ; she picks up 
the latest rumours at the city gates, and invents 
some herself: how the Niphates 2 has burst out upon 
the nations, and is inundating entire districts ; how 
cities are tottering and lands subsiding, she tells to 
every one she meets at every street crossing. 

413 No less insufferable is the woman who loves to 
catch hold of her poor neighbours, and deaf to their 
cries for mercy lays into them with a whip. If her 
sound slumbers are disturbed by a barking dog, 
" Quick with the rods!" she cries; "thrash the 
owner first, and then the dog ! " She is a formidable 
woman to encounter ; she is terrible to look at. 

i.e. with so much standing about. 

Properly a mountain ; here meant for a river. 



balnea nocte subit, conchas et castra moveri 

nocte iubet, magno gaudet sudare tumultu, 420 

cum lassata gravi ceciderunt bracchia massa, 

callidus et cristae digitos inpressit aliptes 

ac summum dominae femur exclamare coegit. 

convivae miseri interea somnoque fameque 

urguentur. tandem ilia venit rubicundula, totum 425 

oenophorum sitiens, plena quod tenditur urna 

admotum pedibus, de quo sextarius alter 

ducitur ante cibum rabidam facturus orexim, 

dum redit et loto terram ferit intestine 

marmoribus rivi properant, aurata Falernum 430 

pelvis olet ; nam sic tamquam alta in dolia longus 

deciderit serpens, bibit et vomit, ergo maritus 

nauseat atque oculis bilem substringit opertis. 

Ilia tamen gravior, quae cum discumbere coepit, 
laudat Vergilium, periturae ignoscit Elissae, 435 

committit vates et comparat, inde Maronem 
atque alia parte in trutina suspendit Homerum. 
cedunt grammatici, vincuntur rhetores, omnis 
turba tacet, nee causidicus nee praeco loquetur, 
altera nee mulier ; verborum tanta cadit vis, 440 

tot pariter pelves ac tintinnabula dicas 
pulsari. iam nemo tubas, nemo aera fatiget : 
una laboranti poterit succurrere Lunae. 
inponit finem sapiens et rebus honestis ; 
nam quae docta nimis cupit et facunda videri, 445 
crure tenus medio tunicas succingere debet, 

i Eclipses of the moon were supposed to be due to the 
incantations of witches. To prevent these from being heard 
and so ward off the evil events portended by the eclipse, it 
was the custom to create a din by the clashing of bells, 
horns and trumpets, etc. 



She frequents the baths by night; not till night 
does she order her oil-jars and her quarters to be 
shifted thither ; she loves all the bustle of the hot 
bath ; when her arms drop exhausted by the heavy 
weights, the anointer passes his hand skilfully over 
her body, bringing it down at last with a resounding 
smack upon her thigh. Meanwhile her unfortunate 
guests are overcome with sleep and hunger, till at 
last she comes in with a flushed face, and with thirst 
enough to drink off the vessel containing full three 
gallons which is laid at her feet, and from which she 
tosses off a couple of pints before her dinner to 
create a raging appetite ; then she brings it all up 
again and souses the floor with the washings of her 
inside. The stream runs over the marble pavement ; 
the gilt basin reeks of Falernian, for she drinks and 
vomits like a big snake that has tumbled into a vat. 
The sickened husband closes his eyes and so keeps 
down his bile. 

434 But most intolerable of all is the woman who 
as soon as she has sat down to dinner commends 
Virgil, pardons the dying Dido, and pits the poets 
against each other, putting Virgil in the one scale 
and Homer in the other. The grammarians make 
way before her ; the rhetoricians give in ; the whole 
crowd is silenced : no lawyer, no auctioneer will get 
a word in, no, nor any other woman ; so torrential 
is her speech that you would think that all the pots 
and bells were being clashed together. Let no 
one more blow a trumpet or clash a cymbal : one 
woman will be able to bring succour to the labouring 
moon ! * She lays down definitions, and discourses 
on morals, like a philosopher ; thirsting to be deemed 
both wise and eloquent, she ought to tuck up her 



caedere Silvano porcum, quadrante lavarl 

non habeat matrona, tibi quae iuncta recumbit, 

dicendi genus aut curvum sermone rotato 

torqueat enthymema, nee historias sciat omnes, 450 

sed quaedam ex libris et non intellegat. odi 

banc ego quae repetit volvitque Palaemonis artem 

servata semper lege et ratione loquendi 

ignotosque mihi tenet antiquaria versus 

nee curanda viris l opicae castigat amicae 455 

verba ; soloecismum bceat fecisse marito. 

Nil non permittit mulier sibi, turpe putat nil, 
cum virides gemmas collo circumdedit et cum 
auribus extentis magnos commisit elencbos ; 
intolerabilius nihil est quam femina dives. 460 

interea foeda aspectu ridendaque multo 
pane tumet facies aut pinguia Poppaeana 
spirat, et hinc miseri viscantur labra mariti : 
ad moecbum lota veniunt cute, quando videri 
vult formosa domi ? moechis foliata parantur, 465 
his emitur quid quid gi*aciles hue mittitis Indi. 
tandem aperit vultum et tectoria prima reponit ; 
incipit agnosci, atque illo lacte fovetur 
propter quod secum comites educit asellas 
exul Hyperboreum si dimittatur ad axem. 470 

1 Housm. puts a full stop after viris, and interprets : 
aliasque res virorum cura indignas. Postgate suggests, after 
one of Ruperti's MSS. , haec curanda viris ? 

1 i.e. wear the short tunic of a man. 

2 Only men sacrificed to Silvanus. 

3 i.e. bathe in the public baths. 

* A treatise on grammar by Q. Remmius Palaemon, the 
most famous grammarian of the early empire. 



skirts knee-high, 1 sacrifice a pig to Silvanus, 2 and 
take a penny bath. 3 Let not the wife of your bosom 
possess a special style of her own ; let her not hurl 
at you in whirling speech the crooked enthymeme ! 
Let her not know all history ; let there be some 
things in her reading which she does not under- 
stand. I hate a woman who is for ever consulting 
and poring over the " Grammar " of Palaemon, 4 
who observes all the rules and laws of language, who 
quotes from ancient poets that I never heard of, and 
corrects her unlettered 5 female friends for slips of 
speech that no man need trouble about : let hus- 
bands at least be permitted to make slips in grammar ! 
457 There is nothing that a woman will not permit 
herself to do, nothing that she deems shameful, when 
she encii'cles her neck with green emeralds, and 
fastens huge pearls to her elongated ears : there is no- 
thing more intolerable than a wealthy woman. Mean- 
while she ridiculously puffs out and disfigures her face 
with lumps of dough ; she reeks of rich Poppaean 6 
unguents which stick to the lips of her unfortunate 
husband. Her lover she will meet with a clean- 
washed skin ; but when does she ever care to look 
nice at home ? It is for her lovers that she provides 
the spikenard, for them she buys all the scents which 
the slender Indians bring to us. In good time she 
discloses her face ; she removes the first layer of 
plaster, and begins to be recognisable. She then laves 
herself with that milk for which she takes a herd 
of she-asses in her train if sent away to the Hyper- 

5 The word Opican is equivalent to Oscan, denoting the 
early inhabitants of Campania. It is used here as equivalent 
to barbarian. 

6 Cosmetics, called after Nero's wife Poppaea. 



sed quae mutatis inducitur atque fovetur 
tot medicaminibus coctaeque siliginis offas 
accipit et madidae, facies dicetur an ulcus ? 

Est pretium curae penitus cognoscere toto 
quid faciant agitentque die. si nocte maritus 475 
aversus iacuit, periit libraria, ponunt 
cosmetae tunicas, tarde venisse Liburnus 
dicitur et poenas alieni pendere somni 
cogitur ; hie frangit ferulas, rubet ille flagello, 
hie scutica ; sunt quae tortoribus annua praestent. 480 
verberat atque obiter faciem Unit, audit arnicas, 
aut latum pictae vestis considerat aurum, 
et caedit, longi relegit transversa diurni 
et caedit, donee lassis caedentibus " exi " 
intonet horrendum iam cognitione peracta. 485 

Praefectura domus Sicula non mitior aula ; 
nam si constituit solitoque decentius optat 
ornari et properat iamque expectatur in hortis 
aut aput Isiacae potius sacraria lenae, 
disponit crinem laceratis ipsa capillis 490 

nuda umero Psecas infelix nudisque mamillis. 
" altior hie quare cincinnus? " taurea punit 
continuo flexi crimen facinusque capilli. 
quid Psecas admisit ? quaenam est hie culpa puellae, 

1 «'.e. the husband's. 

2 The text reads as if the flogging was done by the lady 
herself. But it was evidently done for her by slaves. 

3 Books were usually written lengthwise on the roll ; but 
it seems that the acta diurna, here mentioned, were written 



borean pole. But when she has been coated over 
and treated with all those layers of medicaments, 
and had those lumps of moist dough applied to it, 
shall we call it a face or a sore ? 

474 It is well worth while to ascertain how these 
ladies busy themselves all day. If the husband has 
turned his back upon his wife at night, the wool- 
maid is done for ; the tire-women will be stripped of 
their tunics ; the Liburnian chair-man will be accused 
of coming late, and will have to pay for another 
man's J drowsiness ; one will have a rod broken over 
his back, another will be bleeding from a strap, a 
third from the cat ; some women engage their execu- 
tioners by the year. While the flogging goes on, 
the lady will be daubing her face, or listening to 
her lady-friends, or inspecting the widths of a gold- 
embroidered robe. While thus flogging and flog- 
ging, 2 she reads the lengthy Gazette, written right 
across the page, 3 till at last, the floggers being ex- 
hausted, and the inquisition ended, she thunders out 
a gruff " Be off with you ! " 

4S(3 Her household is governed as cruelly as a Sici- 
lian Court. 4 If she has an appointment and wishes 
to be turned out more nicely than usual, and is in 
a hurry to meet some one waiting for her in the 
gardens, or more likely near the chapel of the 
wanton Isis, the unhappy maid that does her hair 
will have her own hair torn, and the clothes stripped 
off her shoulders and her breasts. " Why is this curl 
standing up ? " she asks, and then down comes a 
thonff of bull's hide to inflict chastisement for the 
offending ringlet. Pray how was Psecas in fault? 
How would the girl be to blame if you happened 

* In allusion to Phalaris, tyrant of Agrigentum. 



si tibi displicuit nasus tuus ? altera laevum 495 

extendit pectitque comas et volvit in orbem. 

est in consilio materna admotaque lanis 

emerita quae cessat acu ; sententia prima 

huius erit, post banc aetate atque arte minores 

censebunt, tamquam famae discrimen agatur 500 

aut animae : tanta est quaerendi cura decoris, 

tot premit ordinibus, tot adhuc conpagibus altum 

aedifieat caput ; Andromacben a fronte videbis ; 

post minor est, credas aliam. cedo si breve parvi 

sortita est latei-is spatium breviorque videtur 505 

virgine Pygmaea nullis adiuta cothurnis 

et levis erecta consurgit ad oscula planta. 

nulla viri cura interea nee mentio net 

damnorum. vivit tamquam vicina mariti, 

hoc solo propior quod amicos coniugis odit 510 

et servos, gravis est rationibus. 

Ecce furentis 

Bellonae matrisque deum chorus intrat et ingens 

semivir, obscaeno facies reverenda minori, 

mollia qui rapta secuit genitalia testa 

iam pridem, cui rauca cohors, cui tympana cedunt, 515 

plebeia et Pbrygia vestitur bucca tiara. 

grande sonat metuique iubet Septembris et Austri 

adventum, nisi se centum lustraverit ovis 

et xerampelinas veteres donaverit ipsi, 

ut quidquid subiti et magni discriminis instat 520 

in tunicas eat et totum semel expiet annum. 

hibernum fracta glacie descendet in amnem, 

1 Hector's wife Andromache must be tall, as living in the 
heroic age. 



not to like the shape of your own nose ? Another 
maid on the left side combs out the hair and rolls it 
into a coil ; a maid of her mother's, who has served 
her time at sewing, and has been promoted to the 
wool department, assists at the council. She is the 
first to give her opinion ; after her, her inferiors in 
age or skill will give theirs, as though some question 
of life or honour were at stake. So important is the 
business of beautification ; so numerous are the tiers 
and storeys piled one upon another on her head ! 
In front, you would take her for an Andromache 1 ; 
she is not so tall behind : you would not think it 
was the same person. What if nature has made her 
so short of stature that, if unaided by high heels, 
she looks no bigger than a pigmy, and has to rise 
nimbly on tip-toe for a kiss ! Meantime she pays no 
attention to her husband ; she never speaks of what 
she costs him. She lives with him as if she were 
only his neighbour ; in this alone more near to him, 
that she hates his friends and his slaves, and plays 
the mischief with his money. 

511 And now, behold ! in comes the chorus of the 
frantic Bellona and the mother of the Gods, attended 
by a giant eunuch to whom his obscene inferiors 
must do reverence. . . . Before him the howling herd 
with the timbrels give way ; his plebeian cheeks are 
covered with a Phrygian tiara. With solemn utter- 
ance he bids the lady beware of the September 
Siroccos if she do not purify herself with a hundred 
eggs, and present him with some old mulberry-coloured 
garments in order that any great and unforeseen 
calamity may pass into the clothes, and make ex- 
piation for the entire year. In winter she will go 
down to the river of a morning, break the ice, and 



ter matutino Tiberi mergetur et ipsis 

verticibus timidum caput abluet, inde superbi 

totum regis agrum nuda ac tremibunda cruentis 525 

erepet genibus ; si Candida iusserit Io, 

ibit ad Aegypti finem calidaque petitas 

a Meroe povtabit aquas ut spargat in aede 

IsidiSj antiquo quae proxima surgit ovili. 

credit enim ipsius dominae se voce moneri : 530 

en animam et mentem cum qua di nocte loquantur ! 

ergo hie praecipuum summumque meretur honorem, 

qui grege linigero circumdatus et grege calvo 

plangentis populi currit derisor Anubis. 

ille petit veniam, quotiens non abstinet uxor 535 

concubitu sacris observandisque diebus 

magnaque debetur violato poena cadurco 

et movisse caput visa est argentea serpens ; 

illius lacrimae meditataque murmura praestant 

ut veniara culpae non abnuat, ansere magno 540 

scilicet et tenui popano corruptus, Osiris. 

Cum dedit ille locum, cophino faenoque relicto 
arcanam Iudaea tremens mendicat in aurem, 
interpres legum Solymarum et magna sacerdos 
arboris ac summi fida internuntia caeli. 545 

implet et ilia manum, set parcius ; aere minuto 
qualiacumque voles Iudaei somnia vendunt. 

1 i.e. the Campus Martius. 

2 Apparently here identified with Isis. Io was changed 
into a white cow by Juno out of jealousy. 

3 An island formed by the waters of the Nile. See xiij. 163. 

4 The Temple of Isis was in the Campus Martius near the 
polling-booths (saepta) here called ovile. 

6 A god of the dead ; he attended on Isis, and is repre- 
sented with the head of a dog. 

6 The priest who personates Anubis laughs at the people 
when they lament Osiris. 



plunge three times into the Tiber, dipping her 
trembling head in its whirling waters, and crawling 
out thence naked and shivering, she will creep with 
bleeding knees right across the field x of Tarquin 
the Proud. If the white Io 2 shall so order, she will 
journey to the confines of Egypt, and fetch water 
from hot Meroe 3 with which to sprinkle the Temple 
of Isis which stands hard by the ancient sheepfold. 4 
For she believes that the command was given by the 
voice of the Goddess herself — a pretty kind of mind 
and spirit for the Gods to have converse with by 
night ! Hence the chief and highest place of honour 
is awarded to Anubis, 5 who, with his linen-clad and 
shaven crew, mocks at the weeping of the people as 
he runs along. 6 He it is that obtains pardon for 
wives who break the law of purity on days that 
should be kept holy, and exacts huge penalties 
when the coverlet has been profaned, or when the 
silver serpent has been seen to nod his head. His 
teai-s and carefully-studied mutterings make sure 
that Osiris will not refuse a pardon for the fault, 
bribed, no doubt, by a fat goose and a slice of 
sacrificial cake. 

642 No sooner has that fellow departed than a 
palsied Jewess, leaving her basket and her truss of 
hay, 7 comes begging to her secret ear ; she is an in- 
terpreter of the laws of Jerusalem, a high priestess 
of the tree, 8 a trusty go-between of highest heaven. 
She, too, fills her palm, but more sparingly, for a 
Jew will tell you dreams of any kind you please for 
the minutest of coins. 

7 See iii. 14 : Iuclaei quorum cophinus faenumque supellcx. 

8 Jews were allowed to camp out under trees as gipsies do 
in our own country. See iii. 15, 16. 



Spondet amatorem tenerum vel divitis orbi 
testamentum ingens calidae pulmone columbae 
tractato Armenius vel Commagenus haruspex ; 550 
pectora pullorum rimabitur, exta catelli, 
interdum et pueri ; faciet quod deferat ipse. 
Chaldaeis set maior erit fiducia : quidquid 
dixerit astrologus, credent a fonte relatum 
Hammonis, quoniarii Delphis oracula cessant 555 
et genus humanum damnat caligo futuri. 
praecipuus tamen est horum, qui saepius exul, 
cuius amicitia conducendaque tabella 
mao-nus civis obit et formidatus Othoni. 1 
inde fides artis, sonuit si dextera ferro 560 

laevaque, si longe castrorum in earcere mansit. 
nemo mathematicus genium indemnatus habebit, 
sed qui paene perit, cui vix in Cyclada mitti 
contigit et parva tandem caruisse Seripho. 

Consulit ictericae lento de funere matris, 565 

ante tamen de te Tanaquil tua, quando sororem 
efferat et patruos, an sit victurus adulter 
post ipsam : quid enim maius dare numina possunt ? 
haec tamen ignorat 2 quid sidus triste minetur 
Saturni, quo laeta Venus se proferat astro, 570 

quis mensis damnis, quae dentur tempora lucro : 

i Lines 558-9 are omitted in some MSS., and seem out of 

P *haec e ignorat GLOU: haec ignorant T: hae ignorant 
Biich (1S93). 

i According to Tac. Hist. i. 22 the name of Otho's astro- 
loger was Ptolemy. 2 The emperor Galba. 



548 An Armenian or Commagenian sooth-sayer, 
after examining the lungs of a dove that is still 
warm, will promise a youthful lover, or a big bequest 
from some rich and childless man ; he will probe 
the breast of a chicken, or the entrails of a dog, 
sometimes even of a boy ; some things he will do 
with the intention of informing against them himself. 

553 Still more trusted are the Chaldaeans ; every 
word uttered by the astrologer they will believe has 
come from Hammon's fountain, for now that the Del- 
phian oracles are dumb, man is condemned to darkness 
as to his future. Chief among these was one 1 who was 
oft in exile, through. whose friendship and venal pro- 
phecies the great citizen 2 died whom Otho feared. 
For nowadays no astrologer has credit unless he have 
been imprisoned in some distant camp, with chains 
clanking on either arm ; none believe in his powers un- 
less he has been condemned and all but put to death, 
having just contrived to get deported to a Cyclad, or 
to escape at last from the diminutive Seriphos. 3 

565 Your excellent Tanaquil 4 consults as to the 
long-delayed death of her jaundiced mother — having 
previously enquired about your own ; she will ask 
when she may expect to bury her sister, or her 
uncles ; and whether her lover will outlive herself — 
what greater boon could the Gods bestow upon her? 
And yet your Tanaquil does not herself understand 
the gloomy threats of Saturn, or under what constella- 
tion Venus will show herself propitious, which months 
will be months of losses, which of gains ; but beware 

3 One of the smaller Cyclades (Serpho), a well-known place 
of exile. 

4 i.e. his wife. Tanaquil was wife of Tarquinius Priscus 
{perita caekslium prodigiorum, Liv. i. 34). 



illius occursus etiam vitare memento, 

in cuius manibus ceu pinguia sucina tritas 

cernis ephemeridas, quae nullum consulit et iam 

consulitur, quae castra viro patriamque petente 575 

non ibit pariter numeris revocata Thrasylli. 

ad primum lapidem vectari cum placet, hora 

sumitur ex libro ; si prurit frictus ocelli 

angulus, inspecta genesi collyria poscit ; 

aegra licet iaceat, capiendo nulla videtur 580 

aptior hora cibo nisi quam dederit Petosiris. 

Si mediocris erit, spatium lustrabit utrimque 
metarum et sortes ducet frontemque manumque 
praebebit vati crebrum poppysma roganti. 
divitibus responsa dabit l Phryx augur, et Indus 2 585 
conductus, dabit astrorum mundique peritus 
atque aliquis senior qui publica fulgura condit : 
plebeium in circo positum est et in aggere fatum ; 
quae nudis longum ostendit cervicibus aurum 
consulit ante falas delplnnorumque columnas 590 
an saga vendenti nubat caupone relicto. 

Hae tamen et partus subeunt discrimen et omnis 
nutricis tolerant fortuna urguente labores ; 

i dabit ¥G: dabunt FTU. . 

» indus Brit. 15 u xvii: hide P^ : ^.\ U: n S n . a . nd 
Btich. (1893) Indae: Housm. arid Buch. (1910) indt. 
Housm. thinks a line has dropped out, 

i Roman ladiea carried balls of amber in their hands, 
either as a scent or for warmth. 

* The favourite astrologer of Tiberius. 
3 An ancient Egyptian astrologer. 

* The metae were the turning-posts at each end ot tbe low 
wall («r»na) round which the chariots had to turn. Each mela 
consisted of a group of conical pillars with dolphins on them. 

6 Poppysma is a smacking sound made by the lips ; it was 



of ever encountering one whom you see clutching a 
well-worn calendar in her hands as if it were a ball 
of clammy amber 1 ; one who inquires of none, but is 
now herself inquired of; one who, if her husband is 
going forth to camp, or returning home from abroad, 
will not bear him company if the numbers of Thrasyl- 
lus 2 call her back. If she wants to drive as far as 
the first mile-stone, she finds the right hour from 
her book ; if there is a sore place in the corner of 
her eye, she will not call for a salve until she has 
consulted her horoscope: and if she be ill in bed, 
deems no hour so suitable for taking food as that 
prescribed to her by Petosiris. 3 

582 If the woman be of humble rank, she will pro- 
menade between the turning-posts 4 of the Circus ; 
she will have her fortune told, and will present her 
brow and her hand to the seer who asks for many 
an approving smack. 6 Wealthy women will pay for 
answers from a Phrygian or Indian augur well 
skilled in the stars and the heavens, or one of the 
elders employed to expiate thunderbolts. Plebeian 
destinies are determined in the Circus or on the 
ramparts 6 : the woman 7 who displays a long gold 
chain on her bare neck inquires before the pillars 
and the clusters of dolphins whether she shall 
throw over the tavern-keeper and marry the old- 

592 These poor women, however, endure the perils 
of child-birth, and all the troubles of nursing to 
which their lot condemns them ; but how often 

apparently a sign of approval and satisfaction. These 
sounds are made by the consulting party. 

6 The famous rampart of Servius Tullius, wmen protected 
Rome on its eastern side. 

7 Apparently alluding to a low class of women. 

K 2 


sed iacet aurato vix ulla puerpera lecto. 
tantum avtes huius, tantum medicamina possunt, 595 
quae steriles facit atque homines in ventre necandos 
conducit. gaude, infelix, atque ipse bibendum 
porrige quidquid erit ; nam si distendere vellet 
et vexare uterum pueris salientibus, esses 
Aethiopis fortasse 'pater, mox decolor heres 
impleret tabulas numquam tibi mane videndus. 

Transeo suppositos et gaudia votaque saepe 
ad spurcos decepta lacus, atque inde petitos 
pontifices, salios Scaurorum nomina falso 
corpore laturos. stat Fortuna inproba noctu 605 
adridens nudis infantibus ; bos fovet omnes l 
involvitque sinu, domibus tunc porrigit altis 
secretumque sibi mimum parat ; hos amat, his se 
ino-erit utque suos semper producit alumnos. 

Hie magicos adfert cantus, hie Thessala yendit 610 
philtra, quibus valeat mentem vexare mariti 
et solea pulsare natis : quod desipis, inde est, 
inde animi caligo et magna oblivio rerum 
quas modo gessisti. tamen hoc tolerabile, si non- 
et furere incipias ut avunculus ille Neronis, 615 
cui totam tremuli frontem Caesonia pulli 

1 omnes 4> : omni PT and most edd. _ 

> Some MSS. here insert three lines not given above (one 
MS places them after 601). See Housm. on this passage, 
and also in C.R. vol. xv. 265 aqq. See also Owen s note. 

i These were pools or reservoirs in which infanta were 
exposed. Fortune delights in spiriting these foundlings into 
the houses of the great. 

a The priests of Mars, recruited from noble families. 

a Thessaly was famous for witches and the magic art. 
The husband here is made mad by a love-potion. 



does a gilded bed contain a woman that is lying in ? 
So great is the skill, so powerful the drugs, of the 
abortionist, paid to murder mankind within the womb. 
Rejoice, poor wretch ; give her the stuff to drink 
whatever it be, with your own hand : for were she 
willing to get big and trouble her womb with 
bouncing babes, you might perhaps find yourself the 
father of an Ethiopian ; and some day a coloured 
heir, whom you would rather not meet by daylight, 
would fill all the places in your will. 

602 I say nothing of supposititious children, of the 
hopes and prayers so often cheated at those filthy 
pools 1 from which are supplied Priests and Salii, 2 
with bodies that will falsely bear the name of 
Scauri. There Fortune shamelessly takes her stand 
by night, smiling on the naked babes ; she fondles 
them all and folds them in her bosom, and then, 
to provide herself with a secret comedy, she sends 
them forth to the houses of the great. These are 
the children that she loves, on these she lavishes 
herself, and with a laugh brings them always for- 
ward as her own. 

610 One man supplies magical spells ; another sells 
Thessalian 3 charms by which a wife may upset 
her husband's mind, and lather his buttocks with 
a slipper; thence come loss of reason, and dark- 
ness of soul, and blank forgetfulness of all that 
you did but yesterday. Yet even that can be en- 
dured, if only you become not raving mad like 
that uncle i of Nero's into whose drink Caesonia 
poured the whole brow of a weakly foal 5 ; and what 

4 The emperor Caligula. His wife Caesonia was said to 
have made him mad by a love-philtre. 

6 Alluding to the hippomanea, an excrescence on the head 
of a young foal, which was used in love-potiona. 



infudit. quae non faciet quod principis uxor ? 

avdebant cuncta et fracta conpage ruebant, 

non aliter quam si fecisset Iuno maritum 

insanum. minus ergo nocens erit Agrippinae 620 

boletus, siquidem unius praecordia pressit 

ille senis tremulumque caput descendere iussit 

in caelum et longa manantia labra saliva ; 

haec poscit ferrum.atque ignes, baec potio torquet, 

baec lacerat mixtos equitum cum sanguine patres. 625 

tanti partus equae, tanti una venefica constat. 

Oderunt natos de paelice : nemo repugnet, 
nemo vetet, iam iam privignum occidere fas est. 
vos ego, pupilli, moneo, quibus amplior est res, 
custodite animas et nulli credite mensae : 630 

livida materno fervent adipata veneno. 
mordeat ante aliquis quidquid porrexerit ilia 
quae peperit, timidus praegustet pocula papas. 

Fingimus haec altum satura sumente cothurnum 
scilicet, et finem egressi legemque priorum 635 

grande Sophocleo carmen bacchamur hiatu, 
montibus ignotum Rutulis caeloque Latino ? 
nos utinam vani. set clamat Pontia " feci, 
confiteor, puerisque meis aconita paravi, 
quae deprensa patent ; facinus tamen ipsa peregi." 640 
tune duos una, saevissima vipera, cena ? 
tune duos ? " septem, si septem forte fuissent ! " 

1 A^rippina the younger murdered her husband, the Em- 
peror °Claudius, by a dish of mushrooms (Tac. Ann. xu. 57, 
Suet. 44). See v. 147. 



woman will not follow when an Empress leads the 
way ? The whole world was ablaze then and falling 
down in ruin just as if Juno had made her husband 
mad. Less guilty therefore will Agrippina's mush- 
room 1 be deemed, seeing that it only stopped the 
breath of one old man, and sent down his palsied 
head and slobbering lips to heaven, whereas the 
other potion demanded fire and sword and torture, 
mingling Knights and Fathers in one mangled 
bleeding heap. Such was the cost of one mare's 
offspring and of one she-poisoner. 

627 A wife hates the children of a concubine ; let 
none demur or forbid, seeing that it has long been 
deemed right and proper to slay a stepson. But I 
warn you wards — you that have a good estate — keep 
watch over your lives ; trust not a single dish : those 
hot cakes are black with poison of a mother's baking. 
Whatever is offered you by the mother, let someone 
taste it first ; let your trembling tutor take the first 
taste of every cup. 

634 Noav think you that all this is a fancy tale, and 
that our Satire is taking to herself the high heels 
of tragedy? Think you that I have out-stepped 
the limits and the laws of those before me, and am 
mouthing in Sophoclean tones a grand theme un- 
known to the Rutulian hills and the skies of Latium ? 
Would indeed that my words were idle ! But here is 
Pontia proclaiming " I did the deed ; I gave aconite, 
I confess it, to my own children; the crime was 
detected, and is known to all; yes, with my own 
hands I did it." "What, you most savage of vipers? 
you killed two, did you, two, at a single meal?" 
" Aye, and seven too, had there chanced to be seven 
to kill ! " 



Credamus tragicis quidquid de Colchide torva 
dicitur et Progne ; nil contra conor. et illae 
grandia monstra suis audebant temporibus, sed 645 
non propter nummos ; minor admiratio summis 
debetur monstris, quotiens facit ira nocentes 
hunc sexum et rabie iecur incendente feruntur 
praecipites, ut saxa iugis abrupta, quibus mons 
subtrahitur clivoque latus pendente recedit : 650 

illam ego non tulerim, quae conputat et scelus ingens 
sana facit. spectant subeuntem fata mariti 
Alcestim, et similis si permutatio detur, 
morte viri cupiant animam servare catellae. 
occurrent multae tibi Belides atque Eriphylae 655 
mane, Clytaeinestram null us non vicus habebit. 
hoc tantum refert, quod Tyndaris ilia bipennem 
insulsam et fatuam dextra laevaque tenebat, 
at nunc res agitur tenui pulmone rubetae ; 
sed tamen et ferro, si praegustabit * Atrides 660 

Pontica ter victi cautus medicamina regis. 


Et spes et ratio studiorum in Caesare tantum ; 

solus enim tristes hac tempestate Camenas 

1 praegmtabit PSG : praegustaret $ : praegustarit Markl. 
and Housm. 

1 Medea. 

2 Procne, daughter of Pandion, king of Athens, revenged 
herself on her husband, Tereus, by serving up to him the 
flesh of his son Itys. She was turned into a swallow. 



648 Let us believe all that Tragedy tells us of the 
savage Colchian l and of Procne 2 ; I seek not to 
gainsay her. Those women were monsters of wicked- 
ness in their day ; but it was not for money that 
they sinned. We marvel less at great crimes when 
it is wrath that incites the sex to the guilty deed, 
when burning passion carries them headlong, like 
a rock torn from a mountain side, when the ground 
beneath gives way, and the overhanging slopes fall 
in. I cannot endure the woman who calculates, and 
commits a great crime in her sober senses. Our wives 
look on at Alcestis undergoing her husband's fate ; 
if they were granted a like liberty of exchange, they 
would fain let the husband die to save a lap-dog's 
life. You will meet a daughter of Belus 3 or an Eri- 
phyle every morning : no street but has its Clytem- 
nestra. 4 The only difference is this : the daughter 
of Tyndareus 5 wielded in her two hands a clumsy 
two-headed axe, whereas nowadays a slice of a toad's 
lung will do the business. Yet it may be done by 
steel as well, if the wary husband have beforehand 
tasted the medicaments of the thrice-conquered king 
of Pontus. 6 


Learning and Letters Unprofitable 

On Caesar alone hang all the hopes and prospects 
of the learned ; he alone in these days of ours has 
cast a favouring glance upon the sorrowing Muses — 

3 Belus was the father of Danaus ; hence the Danaids are 
called Belidae. 

4 The Danaids (daughters of Danaus), Eriphvle, and 
Clytemnestra, all killed their husbands. 

5 Clytemnestra was daughter of Tyndareus. 

6 Mithridates, who was said to have secured himself against 
poisoning by prophylactics. 



respexit, cum iam celebres notique poetae 
balneolum Gabiis, Romae conducere furnos 
temptarent, nee foedum alii nee tuvpe putarent 5 
praecones fieri, cum desertis Aganippes 
vallibus esuriens migraret in atria Clio ; 
nam si Pieria quadrans tibi nullus in umbra 
ostendatur, ames nomen victumque Machaerae 
et vendas potius commissa quod auctio vendit 10 
stantibus, oenopborum tripedes armaria cistas, 
Alcitheon Pacci, Thebas et Terea Fausti. ^ 
hoc satius quam si dicas sub iudice " vidi " 
quod non vidisti, faciant equites Asiani 
[quamquam et Cappadoces faciant equitesque 

Bithyni,] 15 

altera quos nudo traducit Gallia talo. 

Nemo tamen studiis indignum ferre labovem 
cogetur posthac, nectit quicumque canoris 
eloquium vocale modis laurumque momordit. 
hoc agite, o iuvenes. circumspicit et stimulat vos 20 
materiamque sibi ducis indulgentia quaerit. 
si qua aliunde putas rerum expectanda tuarum 
praesidia atque ideo croceae membrana tabellae 
impletur, lignorum aliquid posce ocius et quae 
componis dona Veneris, Telesine, marito, 
aut elude et positos tinea pertunde libellos. 
frange miser calamum vigilataque proelia dele, 
qui facis in parva sublimia carmina cella, 
ut dignus venias hederis et imagine macra. 
spes nulla ulterior ; didicit iam dives avarus 
tantum admirari, tantum laudare disertos, 

i An inspiring spring on Mt. Helicon, sacred to the Muses. 

2 Apparently an auctioneer. 3 Apparently names of 

tragedies. 4 Easterns originally imported as slaves, who had 
risen to be equity. 6 t. e. as slaves from Galatia. Vulcan. 





at a time when poets of name and fame thought of 
hiring baths at Gabii, or bakehouses in Rome, while 
others felt no shame in becoming public criers, and 
starving Clio herself, bidding adieu to the vales of 
Aganippe, 1 was flitting to the auction rooms. For if 
you see no prospect of earning a groat within the 
Muses' grove, you had better put up with Machaera's 2 
name and profits and join in the battle of the 
sale-room, selling to the crowd winejars, tripods, 
book-cases and cupboards — the Alcithoe of Paccius, 
the Thebes or the Tereus 3 of Faustus ! How much 
better that than to say before a judge " I saw " what 
you did not see ! Leave that to the Knights of Asia, 4 
of Bithynia and Cappadocia — gentry that were im- 
ported bare-footed 5 from New Gaul ! 
/ u But from this day forth no man who weaves the 
tuneful web of song and has bitten Apollo's laurel 
will be compelled to endure toil unworthy of his 
craft. To your task, young men ! Your Prince is 
looking around and goading you on, seeking objects 
for his favour. If you expect patronage from any other 
quarter, and in that hope are filling up the parchment 
of your saffron tablet, you had better order faggots 
at once, Telesinus, and present your productions to 
the spouse 6 of Venus ; or else put away your tomes, 
and let bookworms bore holes in them where they 
lie. Break your pen, poor wretch ; destroy the battles 
that have robbed you of your sleep — you that are 
inditing lofty strains in a tiny garret, that you may 
come forth worthy of a scraggy bust 7 wreathed with 
ivy ! No hope have you beyond that ; your rich miser 
has now learnt only to admire, only to commend the 

7 The busts of poets were wreathed with ivy (doctarum 
hederae praemiafrontium, Hor. Od. I. i. 29). 



ut pueri Iunonis avem. sed defluit aetas 
et pelagi patiens et cassidis atque ligonis. 
taedia tunc subeunt animos, tunc seque suamque 
Terpsichoren odit facunda et nuda senectus. 35 

Accipe nunc artes ne quid tibi conferat iste 
quern colis et Musarum et Apollinis aede relicta. 
ipse facit versus, atque uni cedit Homero 
propter mille annos. et si dulcedine famae 
succensus recites, maculosas l commodat aedes ; 40 
haec longe ferrata domus servire iubetur, 
in qua sollicitas imitatur ianua portas. 
scit dare libertos extrema in parte sedentis 
ordinis et magnas comitum disponere voces : 
nemo dabit regum quanti subsellia constant 45 

et quae conducto pendent anabathra tigillo, 
quaeque reportandis posita est orchestra cathedris. 
nos tamen hoc agimus tenuique in pulvere sulcos 
ducimus et litus sterili versamus aratro. 
nam si discedas, laqueo tenet ambitiosi 50 

[consuetudo mali, tenet insanabile rnultos] 2 
scribendi cacoethes et aegro in corde senescit. 

Sed vatem egregium, cui non sit publica vena, 
qui nil expositum soleat deducere nee qui 

i maculosas Heinr.: macidonsas Ribb.Housm.: maculonus 
rL i maculonis PGBiich. , . 

2 The text of lines 50-52 is evidently corrupt. Part of the 
passage seems to be a gloss, but, even if line ,51 be eliminated 
Fines 50 and 52 can scarcely be translated though the general 
sense is clear. 


eloquent, just as boys admire the bird of Juno. 1 
Meantime the years flow by that could have endured 
the sea, the helmet, or the spade ; the soul becomes 
wearied, and an eloquent but penniless old age curses 
itself and its own Terpsichore ! 2 

36 And now learn the devices by which the patron 
for whose favour you desert the temples of the 
Muses and Apollo seeks to avoid spending anything 
on you. He writes verses of his own; yielding the 
palm to none but Homer — and that only because of 
his thousand years. If the sweets of fame fire you to 
give a recitation, he puts at your disposal a tumble- 
down house in some distant quarter, the door of 
which is closely barred like the gate of a beleaguered 
city. He knows how to supply you with freedmen 
to sit at the end of the rows, and how to distribute 
about the room the stalwart voices of his retainers : 
but none of your great men will give you as much 
as will pay for the benches, or for the tiers of seats 
resting on hired beams, or for the chairs in the 
front rows which will have to be l-eturned when done 
with. Yet for all that, we poets stick to our task ; 
Ave e;o on drawing furrows in the thin soil, and turning 
up the shore with unprofitable plough. For if you 
would give it up, the itch for writing and making a 
name holds you fast as with a noose, and becomes 
inveterate in your distempered brain. 

53 But your real poet, who has a vein of genius all 
his own — one who spins no hackneyed lays, and 

1 i.e. the peacock. 2 Properly the Muse of Dancing ; 

used here, like Clio above, for poetry in general. 



cornmuni feriat carmen triviale moneta, 55 

hunc, qualem nequeo monstrare et sentio tantum, 
anxietate carens animus facit, omnis acerbi 
inpatiens, cupidus silvarum aptusque bibendis 
fontibus Aonidum. neque enim cantare sub antro 
Pierio thyrsumque potest contingere maesta 60 

paupertas atque aeris inops, quo nocte dieque 
corpus eget : satur est cum dicit Horatius " euhoe ! " 
quis locus ingeniOj nisi cum se carmine solo 
vexant et dominis Cirrhae Nysaeque feruntur 
pectora vestra duas non admittentia curas ? 65 

magnae mentis opus, nee de lodice paranda 
attonitae, currus et equos faciesque deorum 
aspicere et qualis Rutulum confundat Erinys. 
nam si Vergilio puer et tolerabile desset 
hospitium, caderent omnes a crinibus hydri, 70 

surda nihil gemeret grave bucina : poscimus ut sit 
non minor antiquo Rubrenus Lappa cothurno, 
cuius et alveolos et laenam pignerat Atreus ? 
non habet infelix Numitor quod mittat amico : 
Quintillae quod donet habet, nee defuit illi 75 

unde emeret multa pascendum carne leonem 
iam domitum ; constat leviori belua sumptu 
nimirum et capiunt plus intestina poetae. 

Contentus fama iaceat Lucanus in hortis 
marmoreis, et Serrano tenuique Saleio 80 

gloria quantalibet quid erit, si gloria tantum est ? 

1 Apollo and Dionysus. 

2 Turnus. See Virg. Atn. viii. 445-450. 



whose pieces are struck from no common mint — such 
an one as I cannot point to, and only feel — is the 
product of a soul free from care, that knows no 
bitterness, that loves the woodlands, and is fitted to 
drink at the Muses' spring. For how can unhappy 
Poverty sing songs in the Pierian cave and grasp the 
thyrsus when it is short of cash, which the body has 
need of both by night and day ? Horace's stomach was 
well filled when he shouted his cry of Evoc ! Where 
can genius find a place except in a heart stirred by 
song alone, that shuts out every thought but one, and 
is swept along by the lords of Cirrha and of Nysa ! l 
It needs a lofty soul, not one that is dismayed at the 
cost of a coverlet, to have visions of chariots and 
horses and Gods' faces, or to tell with what a mien the 
Fury confounded the Rutulian 2 : had Virgil possessed 
no slave, and no decent roof over his head, all the 
snakes would have fallen from the Fury's hair ; no 
dread note would have boomed from her voiceless 
trumpet. Do we expect Rubrenus Lappa to be as 
great in the buskin as the ancients, when his Atreus 
has to be pawned for his cloak and crockery ? Numi- 
tor, poor man, has nothing to give to a needy friend, 
though he is rich enough to send presents to his 
mistress, and he had enough, too, to buy a tamed 
lion that needed masses of meat for his keep. It 
costs less, no doubt, to keep a lion than a poet ; the 
poet's belly is more capacious ! 

79 Lucan, 3 indeed, reclining amid the statues of 
his gardens, may be content with fame ; but what 
will ever so much glory bring in to Serranus, or to 
the starving Saleius, if it be glory only ? When 

* The famous author of the Pharsalia, M. Annaeus 
Lucanus, a.d. 39-65. 



curritur ad vocera iucundam et carmen amicae 

Thebaidos, laetam cum fecit Statius urbem 

promisitque diem : tanta dulcedine captos 

adficit ille animos tantaque libidine volgi 85 

auditur ; sed cum f regit subsellia versu, 

esuritj intactam Paridi nisi vendit Agauen. 

ille et militiae multis largituv honorem, 

semenstri digitos vatum circumligat auro : 

quod non dant proceres, dabit histrio; tu Camerinos 90 

et Baream, tu nobilium magna atria curas ? 

praefectos Pelopea facit, Philomela tribunos. 

haut tamen invideas vati quern pulpita pascunt : 

quis tibi Maecenas, quis nunc erit aut Proculeius 

aut Fabius ? quis Cotta iterum, quis Lentulus alter ? 95 

tunc par ingenio pretium, tunc utile multis 

pallere et vinum toto nescire Decembri. 

Vester porro labor fecundior, historiarum 
scriptores ? perit ] hie plus temporis atque olei plus, 
nullo quippe modo millensima pagina surgit 100 

omnibus et crescit multa damnosa papyro ; 
sic ingens rerum numerus iubet atque operum lex. 
quae tamen inde seges ? terrae quis fructus apertae ? 
quis dabit historico quantum daret acta legenti ? 
1 perit PFG : petit \p. 

1 P. Papinius Statius, author of the Tkehais, circ. a.d.61-96. 

J Paris, a famous pantomimic dancer. There were two of 
the name; one a favourite of Nero, executed by him as a 
rival, a.d. 67 ; the other a favourite of Domitian, also 
executed, a.d. 87. See Introduction. 

3 The commanding officers of a Legion (tribuni) became 
equitca after serving for six months. Claudius instituted the 
practice of making honorary appointments, without service, 
eo as to bestow the title of eques on his favourites. 



Statius 1 has gladdened the city by promising a day, 
people flock to hear his pleasing voice and his loved 
Thebais ; so charmed are their souls by his sweetness, 
with such rapture does the multitude listen to him. 
But when his verses have brought down the house, 
poor Statius will starve if he does not sell his virgin 
Agave to Paris 2 : for it is Paris who appoints men to 
military commands ; it is Paris who puts the golden 
ring round the poet's finger after six months of ser- 
vice. 3 You can get from a stage-player what no great 
man will give you : why frequent the spacious ante- 
chambers of the Bareae or the Camerini ? It is 
Pelopea 4 that appoints our Prefects, and Philomela 4 
our Tribunes ! Yet you need not begrudge the bard 
who gains his living from the play-house : who now- 
adays will be a Maecenas 5 to you, a' Proculeius, or a 
Fabius ? who another Cotta, or a second Lentulus ? 
Genius in those days met with its due reward ; many 
then found their profit in pale cheeks and in abjuring 
potations all through December. 6 

98 And is your labour more remunerative, ye 
writers of history ? More time, more oil, is wasted 
here ; regardless of all limit, the pages run up to 
thousands ; the pile of paper is ever mounting to 
your ruin. So ordains the vast array of facts, and 
the rules of the craft. But what harvest will you 
gather, what fruit, from the tilling of your land ? 
Who will give to an historian as much as he gives to 
the man who reads out the news ? 

4 Name3 of pantomime plays. 

6 A noble parron of letters, especially of Horace ; for 
Proculeius, see Hor. Od. II. ii. 5. Paulus Fabius Maximus 
was the patron of Ovid ; Cotta is panegyrised by Ovid, Epp. 
ex P. ii. viii. ; P. Lentulus Spinther helped to recall Cicero 
from banishment. 

6 In reference to the festive season of the Saturnalia. 



"Sed genus ignavum, quod lecto gaudet et 
umbra." 105 

die igitur quid causidicis civilia praestent 
officia et magno comites in fasce libelli. 
ipsi magna sonant, sed turn cum creditor audit 
praecipue, vel si tetigit latus acrior illo 
qui venit ad dubium grandi cum codice nomen. 110 
tunc inmensa cavi spirant mendacia folles 
conspuiturque sinus : veram deprendere messem 
si libet, hinc centum patrimonia causidicorum, 
parte alia solum russati pone Lacertae. 1 
consedere duces, surgis tu pallidus Aiax 115 

dicturus dubia pro libertate bubulco 
iudice. rumpe* miser tensum iecur, ut tibi lasso 
figantur virides, scalarum gloria, palmae. 
quod vocis pretium ? siccus petasunculus et vas 
pelamydum aut veteres, Maurorum epimenia, 

bulbi, 12 ° 

aut vinum Tiberi devectum, quinque lagonae. 
si quater egisti, si contigit aureus unus, 
inde cadunt partes ex foedere pragmaticorum. 
Aemilio dabitur quantum licet, et melius nos 
egimus ; huius enim stat currus aeneus, alti 125 

quadriiuges in vestibulis, atque ipse feroci 

1 Lacertae \p : Lacernae P. 

1 The creditor is one to whom the advocate owes money, 
and before whom he wishes to make a good appearance ; the 
acrior illo is a litigant whom the advocate hopes to secure 

as a client. . . , 

2 Spitting or slobbering on the breast was considered 
lucky to obviate the evil results of boasting. 

3 Lacerta is apparently the name of a charioteer. 

4 Alluding to the contest between Ajax and Achilles tor 
the arms of Achilles. 06 



105 « o but historians are a lazy crew, that delight 
in lounging and the shade." Tell me then what do 
pleaders get for their services in the courts, and for 
those huge bundles of papers which they bring with 
them ? They talk big enough, especially if a creditor 1 
of their own happens to be listening : or if, more 
urgent still, they get poked in the ribs by one who 
has brought a huge ledger to claim a doubtful debt. 
Then indeed do their capacious bellows pant forth pro- 
digious lies ! Then are their breasts be-slobbered ! 2 
and yet, if you want to discover their real gains, 
you may put on one side the fortunes of a hundred 
lawyers, on the other that of a single jockey of 
the Red ! 3 The great men are seated ; you rise, a 
pale-faced Ajax, 4 to declaim before a bumpkin judge 
in a case of contested liberty. Strain your lungs, poor 
fool, until they burst, that when exhausted by your 
labours some green palm-branches may be put up to 
adorn your garret. 6 What fee will your voice bring 
in ? A dried-up ham 6 ; a jar of sprats ; some veteran 
onions which would serve as rations for a Moor, or 
five flagons of wine that has sailed down the Tiber. 7 
If you have pled on four occasions, and been lucky 
enough to get a gold piece, a bit of it, as part of the 
compact, will go to the attorney. Aemilius will get 
the maximum legal fee, 8 though he did not plead so 
well as we did ; but then he has a bronze chariot in 
his forecourt, with four stately steeds, and an effigy 

5 The advocate who had won a case would have his stair 

9 Lawyers received presents in kind from their country 

7 i.e. poor wine ; like the vile Sabinum of Hor. Od. i. xx. 1. 

8 Aemilius was a noble ; the Lex Cincia (b.o. 204) placed 
a limit upon lawyers' fees. 

l 2 


bellatore sedens curvatum hastile minatur 

eminus et statua meditatur proelia lusca. 

sic Pedo conturbat, Matho deficit, exitus hie est 

Tongilii, magno cum rhinocerote lavari 130 

qui solet et vexat lutulenta balnea turba, 

perque forum iuvenes longo premit assere Maedos 

empturus pueros argentum murrina villas ; 

spondet enim Tyrio stlattaria purpura filo. 

et tamen est illis hoc utile : purpura vendit 135 

causidicum, vendunt amethystina ; convenit illi 

et strepita et facie maioris vivere census, 

sed finem inpensae non servat prodiga Roma. 

Fidimus eloquio x ? Ciceroni nemo ducentos 
nunc dederit nummos, nisi fulserit anulus ingens. HO 
respicit haec primum qui litigat, an tibi servi 
octo, decern comites, an post te sella, togati 
ante pedes, ideo conducta Paulus agebat 
sardonyche, atque ideo pluris quam Gallus agebat, 
quam Basilus. rara in tenui facundia panno. 145 
quando licet Basilo flentem producere matrem ? 
quis bene dicentem Basilum ferat ? accipiat te 
Gallia vel potius nutricula causidicorum 
Africa, si placuit mercedem ponere linguae. 

Declamare doces ? o ferrea pectora Vetti, 150 
cum perimit saevos classis numerosa tyrannos. 

i Instead of fidimus eloquio $ has ut redeant veleres. See 
Housm., Introd. p. xxv. 

1 These men are ruined by imitating the extravagance of 
their betters. 

2 Flourishing schools of rhetoric were established under 
the early Empire in Gaul, Spain, and Africa. 



of himself, seated on a gallant charger, brandishing 
from afar a bending spear, and practising for battle 
with one eye closed. That is how Pedo l becomes 
bankrupt, and how Matho l fails ; and such will be 
the end of Tongilius, who frequents the baths with a 
huge oil-flask of rhinoceros horn, and disturbs the 
bathers with a mob of dirty retainers. His Maedian 
bearers are weighed down by the long poles of his 
litter as he passes through the Forum on his way to 
buy slaves or plate, agate vases or country houses ; 
for that foreign robe of his, with its Tyrian purple, 
gains him credit. These gentlemen get profit out 
of this display ; the purple or the violet robe brings 
practice to a lawyer ; it pays him to live with a 
racket and an appearance beyond his means, and 
wasteful Rome sets no limits to extravagance. 

139 Trust in eloquence, indeed ? Why, no one 
would give Cicero himself two hundred pence now- 
adays unless a huge ring were blazing on his finger. 
The first thing that a litigant looks to is, Have you 
eight slaves and a dozen retainers ? Have you a 
litter to wait on you, and gowned citizens to walk 
before you ? That is why Paulus used to hire a sard- 
onyx ring ; that is why he earned a higher fee than 
Gallus or Basilus. When is eloquence ever found 
beneath a shabby coat ? When does Basilus get the 
chance of producing in court a weeping mother? 
Who would listen to him, however well he spoke ? 
Better go to Gaul or to Africa, 2 that nursing mother of 
lawyers, if you would make a living by your tongue ! 

150 Or do you teach rhetoric ? O Vettius ! what 
iron bowels must you have when your troop of 
scholars slays 3 the cruel tyrant : when each in turn 

3 ».e. in a rhetorical exercise. 



nam quaecumque sedens modo legerat, haec 

eadem stans , 

pevferet atque eadem cantabit versibus isdem; 
occidit miseros crambe repetita magistros. 
quis color et quod sit causae genus atque ubi 

quaestio, quae veniant diversa e parte* sagittae, 
nosse volunt omnes, mercedem solvere nemo 
« mercedem appellas ? quid enim scio ? culpa 

scilicet arguitur, quod laevae parte mamillae 
nil salit Arcadico iuveni, cuius mini sexta _ loU 

quaque die miserum dims caput Hannibal inplet, 
quidquid id est de quo deliberat, an petat urbem 
a Cannis, an post nimbos et fulmina cautus 
circumanal madidas a tempestate cohortes. 
quantum vis stipulare et protinus accipe : quid ^ 

do . . ,.. 

ut totiens ilium pater audiat? haec alii sex 
vel plures uno conclamant ore sophistae 
et veras agitant lites raptore rehcto ; 
fusa venena silent, malus ingratusque mantus 
et quae iam veteres sanant mortana caecos. 170 

' Ergo sibi dabit ipse rudem, si nostra movebunt 
consilia, et vitae diversum iter ingredietur 
ad pu«mam qui rhetorica descendit ab umbra, 
summula ne pereat qua vilis tessera vemt 

i parle. So *: P and Biich. have forte. 
» quid TFGTU: quod ALO. 

i For the meaning of color, see note on vi. 280. 

I The EngTish idiom would be « What would I not give." 

3 i.e. teachers, especially of rhetoric 

4 The rhetor goes to law to recover his tees. 



stands up, and repeats what he has just been con- 
ning in his seat, reciting the self-same things in the 
self-same verses! Served up again and again, the 
cabbage is the death of the unhappy master ' What 
complexion l should be put on the case ; within what 
category it falls ; what is the crucial point ; what hits 
will be made on the other side — these are things 
which everyone wants to know, but for which no one 
is willing to pay. " Pay indeed ? Why, what have I 
learnt? " asks the scholar. It is the teacher's fault, 
of course, that the Arcadian youth feels no flutter in 
his left breast when he dins his " dire Hannibal " into 
my unfortunate head on every sixth day of the week, 
whatever be the question which he is pondering: 
whether he should make straight for the city from 
the field of Cannae, or whether, after the rain and 
thunder, he should lead around his cohorts, all 
dripping after the storm. Name any sum you please 
and you shall have it : what would I give 2 that the 
lad's father might listen to him as often as I do ! 
So cry half-a-dozen or more of our sophists 3 in one 
breath, entering upon real lawsuits 4 of their own, 
abandoning "The Ravisher" and forgetting all 
about "The Poisoner" or "The wicked and thank- 
less Husband," or the drugs that restore sight to the 
chronic blind. 

171 And so, if my counsel goes for anything, I would 
advise the man who comes down from his rhetorical 
shade to fight for a sum that would buy a trumpery 
corn-ticket 5 — for that's the most handsome fee he 
will ever get — to present himself with a discharge, 6 

5 A ticket for the gratuitous distributions of corn. 

6 A retiring gladiator received a wooden sword {rudvi) as a 
token of discharge. 

I5 1 


frumenti ; quippe haec merces lautissima. tempta 175 
Chrysogonus quanti doceat vel Polio quanti 
lautorum pueros : artem scindes x Theodori 
Balnea sescentis et pluris porticus in qua 
gestetur dominus quotiens pluit — anne serenum 
expectet spargatve luto iumenta recenti ? 180 

hie potius, namque hie mundae nitet ungula mulae. 
parte alia longis Numidavum fulta columnis 
surgat et algentem rapiat cenatio solem. 
quanticumque domus, veniet qui fercula docte 
conponat, 2 veniet qui pulmentaria condit. 3 185 

hos inter sumptus sestertia Quintiliano, 
ut multum, duo sufficient ; res nulla minoris 
constabit patri quam films. " unde igitur tot 
Quintilianus habet saltus ? " exempla novorum 
fatorum transi : felix et pulcer et acer, 190 

felix et sapiens et nobilis et generosus 
adpositam nigrae lunam subtexit alutae ; 
felix orator quoque maximus et iaculator, 
et si perfrixit, cantat bene, distat enim quae 
sidera te excipiant modo primos incipientem 195 

edere vagitus et adhuc a matre rubentem. 
si Foi-tuna volet, fies 4 de rhetore consul ; 
si volet haec eadem, fiet de consule rhetor. 

1 scindens P<J< : scindes conj. Iahn, confirmed by Voss. 64. 

2 Componit GT. P and most MSS. have componat. See 
Housm., Journal of Phil. No. 67, p. 41. 

3 P has condit : LOU condat : condiat Lachmann. 

4 fies ptj/ : fiei P. 

1 Chrysogonus was a singer (vi. 74), Pollio a player on the 
cithara (vi 387). 

2 A famous rhetorician at Rhodes. 



and enter upon some other walk of life. If you ask 
what fees Chrysogonus and Pollio x get for teaching 
music to the sons of our great men, you will tear up 
the Rhetoric of Theodorus. 2 

178 Your great man will spend six hundred thousand 
sesterces upon his baths, and something more on 
the colonnade in which he is to drive on rainy days. 
What? Is he to wait for a clear sky, and bespatter 
his horses with fresh mud? How much better to 
drive where their hoofs will remain bright and spot- 
less ! Elsewhere let a banqueting hall arise, sup- 
ported on lofty pillai's of African marble, to catch the 
winter sun. And cost the house what it may, there 
will come a man to arrange the courses skilfully, 
and the man who makes up the tasty dishes. Amidst 
expenditure such as this two thousand sesterces will 
be enough, and more than enough, for Quintilian : 
there is nothing on which a father will not spend 
more money than on his son. " How then," you ask, 
"does Quintilian possess those vast domains? " Pass 
by cases of rare good fortune : the lucky man 3 is 
both beautiful and brave, he is wise and noble and 
high-born ; he sews on to his black shoe the ci'escent 
of the Senator. He is a great orator too, a good 
javelin-man, and if he chance to have caught a cold, 
he sings divinely. For it makes all the difference 
by what stars you are welcomed when you utter 
your first cry, and are still red from your mother's 
womb. If Fortune so choose, you will become a 
Consul from being a rhetor; if again she so wills, 
you will become a rhetor from being a Consul. 

8 Juvenal sarcastically assigns to the lucky man all the 
qualities which the Stoics attributed to the sapiens. See 
Hor. Epp. i. i. 106-108. Juvenal probably had an eye to 
that passage. 



Ventidius quid enim ? quid Tullius? anne aliud 

sidus et occulti miranda potentia fati ? 200 

servis regna dabunt, captivis fata triumphum. 
felix ille tamen corvo quoque rarior albo. 
paenituit multos vanae sterilisque cathedrae, 
sicut Thrasimachi probat exitus atque Seeundi 
Carrinatis ; et hunc inopem vidistis, Athenae, 205 
nil praeter gelidas ausae conferre cicutas. 
di, maiorum umbris tenuem et sine pondere terram 
spirantisque crocos et in urna perpetuum ver, 
qui praeceptorem sancti voluere parentis 
esse loco, metuens virgae iam grandis Achilles 210 
cantabat patriis in montibus et cui non tunc 
eliceret risum citharoedi cauda magistri ; 
sed Rufum atque alios caedit sua quemque iuventus, 
Rufum, quern totiens Ciceronem Allobroga dixit. 

Quis gremio Celadi doctique Palaemonis adfert 215 
quantum grammaticus meruit labor ? et tamen ex hoc 
quodcumque est, minus est autem quam rhetoris aera, 
discipuli custos praemordet acoenonoetus 1 
et qui dispensat frangit sibi. cede, Palaemon, 

1 acoenonoetus PS: acoenonetos U {q.koivwv7)to$ "refusing 
to go shares"). 

1 P. Ventidius Bassus rose from nothing to be consul 
B.C. 43; he triumphed over the Parthians. 

2 Cicero. 

s Both rhetoricians. Carrinas was banished by Caligula, 
and apparently hanged himself. 

* The reference must surely be to Socrates ; though Ulum 
■would have been more appropriate than hunc. 



What of Ventidius l and Tullius ? 2 What made then- 
fortunes but the stars and the wondrous potency of 
secret Fate ? The Fates will give kingdoms to a slave, 
and triumphs to a captive ! Nevertheless that for- 
tunate man is rare — rarer than a white crow. Many 
have repented them of the Professor's vain and un- 
profitable chair ; witness the ends of Thrasymachus 3 
and Secundus Carrinas. 3 Him too didst thou see in 
poverty on whom thou, O Athens, hadst nothing 
better to bestow than a cup of cold hemlock ! 4 
Grant, O Gods, that the earth may lie soft and light 
upon the shades of our forefathers : may the sweet- 
scented crocus and a perpetual spring-time bloom 
over their ashes ; who deemed that the teacher 
should hold the place of a revered parent ! Achilles 
trembled for fear of the rod when already of full 
age, singing songs in his native hills ; nor would he 
then have dared to laugh at the tail of his musical 
instructor. 5 But Rufus and the rest are cudgelled 
each by his own pupils — that Rufus 6 whom they 
have so often styled "the Allobrogian Cicero." 

215 Who pours into the lap of Celadus, or of the 
learned Palaemon, 7 as much as their grammatical 
labours deserve ? And yet, small as the fee is — 
and it is smaller than the rhetor's wage — the 
pupil's unfeeling s attendant nibbles off a bit of it 
for himself; so too does the steward. But give in, 

s Achilles was instructed in the lyre by the Centaur 

6 Rufus was apparently an Allobrogian. The Allobroges 
occupied the country between the Rhone and the Isere. 

7 Q. Remmius Palaemon, a famous Roman grammarian in 
the time of Tiberius and Caligula. 

8 Acoe.nonoe.tus is one of those Greek terms whose use 
Juvenal wishes to ridicule. The Scholiast explains it as 
communi sensu carens. See Mayor. 



et patere inde aliquid decrescere, non aliter 

quam 220 

institor hibernae tegetis niveique cadurci, 
dummodo non pereat mediae quod noctis ab hora 
sedisti, qua nemo faber, qua nemo sederet 
qui docet obliquo lanam deducere ferro ; 
dummodo non pereat totidem olfecisse lucernas 225 
quot stabant pueri, cum totus decolor esset 
Flaccus et haereret nigro fuligo Maroni. 

Rara tamen merces quae cognitione tribuni 
non egeat. sed vos saevas inponite leges, 
ut praeceptori verborum regula constet, 230 

ut legat historias, auctores noverit omnes 
tamquam ungues digitosque suos, ut forte rogatus 
dum petit aut thermas aut Phoebi balnea, dicat 
nutricem Anchisae, nomen patriamque novercae 
Anchemoli, dicat quot Acestes vixerit annis, 235 

quot Siculi Phrygibus vini donaverit urnas ; 
exigite ut mores teneros ceu pollice ducat, 
ut si quis cera voltum facit ; exigite ut sit 
et pater ipsius coetus, ne turpia ludant, 
ne faciant vicibus ; non est leve tot puerorum 240 
observare manus oculosque in fine trementis. 
"haec," inquit, "cura, sed 1 cum se verterit annus, 
accipe, victori populus quod postulat, aurum." 

i cura sed G and one of Ruperti's MSS. : curas et P^/ and 
Biich. (1893) : cures et Owen. 



Palaemon ; suffer some diminution of your wage, like 
the hawker who sells rags and white Gallic blankets 
for winter wear, if only it do not go for nothing that 
you have sat from early dawn in a hole which no 
blacksmith would put up with, no workman who 
teaches how to card wool with slanting tool : that it 
do not go for nothing to have snuffed up the odour 
of as many lamps as you had scholars in your class 
thumbing a discoloured Horace or a begrimed 

228 But it is seldom that the fee can be recovered 
without a judgment of the Court. And yet be sure, 
ye parents, to impose the strictest laws upon the 
teacher: he must never be at fault in his grammar; 
he must know all history, and have all the authorities 
at his finger-tips. If asked a chance question on his 
way to the baths, or to the establishment of Phoebus, 1 
he must at once tell you who was the nurse of 
Anchises, what was the name and birth-place of An- 
chemolus' 2 step-mother, to what age Acestes lived, 
how many flagons of Sicilian wine he presented to 
the Trojans. 3 Require of him that he shall mould 
the young minds as a man moulds a face out of wax 
with his thumb ; insist that he shall be a father to 
the whole brood, so that they shall play no nasty 
game, and do no nasty trick — no easy matter to watch 
the hands and sparkling eyes of so many youngsters ! 
" See to all this," you say, "and then, Avhen the year 
comes round, receive the golden piece which the 
mob demands for a winning jockey." 


Probably a private bathing establishment. 
8 A warrior slain by Pallas. Virg. Aen, x. 389. 
8 Aen. v. 73 foil. 




Stemmata quid faciunt? quid prodest, Pontice, 
sanguine censeri, pictos ostendere vultus 
maiorum et stantis in curvibus Aemilianos 
et Curios iam dimidios umerosque minorem 
Corvinum et Galbam auriculis nasoque carentem ? 5 
quis fructus generis tabula iactare eapaci 
Corvinum, 1 posthac multa contingere virga 
fumosos equitum cum dictatore magistros, 
si coram Lepidis male vivitur ? effigies quo 
tot bellatorum, si luditur alea pernox 10 

ante Numantinos, si dormire incipis ortu 
Luciferi, quo signa duces et castra movebant ? 
cur Allobrogicis et magna gaudeat ara 
natus in Herculeo Fabius lare, si cupidus, si 
vanus et Euganea quantumvis mollior agna, 15 

si tenerum attritus Catinensi pumice lumbum 
squalentis traducit avos, emptorque veneni 
frangenda miseram funestat imagine gentem ? 
tota licet veteres exornent undique cerae 
atria, nobilitas sola est atque unica virtus. 20 

1 Corvinum P etc.: Housm. conj. pontifices. 

1 Alluding to the younger Scipio, son of L. Aemilius 
Paulus, who according to rule took the name of Aemilianus 
after his adoption by P. Cornelius Scipio (son of Scipio 
Africanus major). 

2 Scipio the younger was called Numantinua after the 
capture of Numantia, B.C. 134. 

I 5 8 



Stemmata quid Faciunt ? 

What avail your pedigrees ? What boots it, Ponti- 
cus, to be valued for one's ancient blood, and to 
display the painted visages of one's forefathers — an 
Aemilianus 1 standing in his car; a half-crumbled 
Curius ; a Corvinus who has lost a shoulder, or a 
Galba that has neither ear nor nose ? Of what profit 
is it to boast a Fabius on your ample family chart, 
and thereafter to trace kinship through many a branch 
with grimy Dictators and Masters of the Horse, if 
in presence of the Lepidi you live an evil life ? What 
signify all these effigies of warriors if you gamble 
all night long before your Numantine 2 ancestors, 
and begin your sleep with the rise of Lucifer, at 
an hour when our Generals of old would be moving 
their standards and their camps ? Why should a 
Fabius, born in the home of Hercules, 3 take pride in 
the title Allobrogicus, 4 and in the Great Altar, 5 if he 
be covetous and empty-headed and more effeminate 
than a Euganean 6 lambkin; if his loins, rubbed 
smooth by Catanian 7 pumice, throw shame on his 
shaggy-haired grandfathers ; or if, as a trafficker in 
poison, he dishonour his unhappy race by a statue that 
will have to be broken in pieces ? Though you deck 
your hall from end to end with ancient waxen 
images, Virtue is the one and only true nobility. Be 

3 The Fabii pretended to be descended from Hercules. 

4 Alluding to Q. Fabius Maximus Allobrogicus (B.C. 121). 

5 The ara maxima of Hercules, near the Circus. 

6 Fine pasture land in Venetia, where dwelt the Euganei. 

7 From Catana near Mount Aetna. 



Paulus vel Cossus vel Drusus moribus esto, 

hos ante effigies maiorum pone tuorum, 

praecedant ipsas illi te consule virgas. 

prima mihi debes animi bona, sanctus haben 

iustitiaeque tenax factis dictisque mereris ? -?' 25 

agnosco procerem : salve Gaetulice, seu tu 

Silanus, quocumque alio de sanguine rarus 

civis et egregius patriae contingis ovanti, 

exclamare libet, populus quod clamat Osiri 

invento. quis enim generosum dixerit hunc qui 30 

indignus genere et praeclaro nomine tantum 

insignis ? nanum cuiusdam Atlanta vocamus, 

Aethiopem Cycnum, pravam extortamque puellam 

Europen ; canibus pigris scabieque vetusta 

levibus et siccae lambentibus ora lucernae 35 

nomen erit pardus tigris leo, si quid adhuc est 

quod fremat in terris violentius ; ergo cavebis 

et metues ne tu sic x Creticus aut Camerinus. 

His ego quern monui? tecum est mihi sermo, 
Blande. tumes alto Drusorum stemmate, tam- 


feceris ipse aliquid propter quod nobilis esses, 

ut te conciperet quae sanguine fulget Iuli, 

non quae ventoso conducta sub aggere texit. 

"vos humiles," inquis, "volgi pars ultima nostri, 

quorum nemo queat patriam monstrare parentis ; 45 

ast ego Cecropides." vivas et originis huius 

gaudia longa feras. tamen ima plebe Quiritem 

1 sic H. Junius : si P : sis \p. 

When a new Apis was Lorn, the people shouted evprjuafxev, 
{alpontv. Apis was supposed to be an incarnation of 



a Paulus, or a Cossus, or a Drusus in character; rank 
them before the statues of your ancestors ; let them 
precede the fasces themselves when you are Consul. 
You owe me, first of all things, the virtues of the 
soul ; prove yourself stainless in life, one who holds 
fast to the right both in word and deed, and I ac- 
knowledge you as a lord ; all hail to you, Gaetulicus, 
or you, Silanus, or from whatever stock you come, if 
you have proved yourself to a rejoicing country a rare 
and illustrious citizen, we would fain cry what Egypt 
shouts when Osiris has been found. 1 For who can 
be called "noble" who is unworthy of his race, and 
distinguished in nothing but his name? We call 
some one's dwarf an "Atlas," his blackamoor "a 
swan " ; an ill-favoured, misshapen girl we call 
"Europa"; lazy hounds that are bald with chronic 
mange, and who lick the edges of a dry lamp, will 
bear the names of "Pard," "Tiger," "Lion," or of 
any other animal in the world that roars more 
fiercely : take you care that it be not on that prin- 
ciple that you are a Creticus or a Camerinus ! 

30 Who is it whom I admonish thus ? It is to you, 
Rubellius Rlandus, 2 that I speak. You are puffed up 
with the lofty pedigree of the Drusi, as though you 
had done something to make you noble, and to be 
conceived by one glorying in the blood of lulus, 
rather than by one who weaves for hire under the 
windy rampart. "You others are dirt," you say; 
" the very scum of our populace ; not one of you can 
point to his father's birthplace; but I am one of 
the Cecropidae ! " Long life to you ! May you long 
enjoy the glories of your birth ! And yet among the 

2 Rubellius Blandus was married to Julia, grand-daughter 
of Tiberius. One of his descendants must be meant here. 




facundum invenies : solet hie defendere causas 

nobilis indooti ; veniet de plebe togata 

qui iuris nodos et legum aenigmata solvat ; 50 

hinc i petit Euphrates iuvenis domitique Batavi 

custodes aquilas, armis industrius. at tu 

nil nisi Cecropides, truncoque simillimus Hermae : 

nullo quippe alio vincis discrimine quam quod 

illi marmoreum caput est, tua vivit imago. 55 

Die mihi, Teucrorum proles : animalia muta 
quis generosa putet nisi fortia ? nempe volucrem 
sic laudamus equum, facili cui plurima palma 
fervet et exultat rauco victoria circo ; 
nobilis hie, quocumque venit de gramine, cuius 60 
clara fuga ante alios et primus in aequore pulvis. 
sed venale pecus Coryphaei posteritas et 
Hirpini, si rara iugo victoria sedit ; 
nil ibi maiorum respectus, gratia nulla 
umbrarum ; dominos pretiis mutare iubentur 65 

exiguis, trito ducunt epiraedia collo 
segnipedes dignique molam versare nepotes. 
ergo ut miremur te, non tua, privum aliquid da, 
quod possim titulis incidere praeter honores 
quos illis damus ac dedimus, quibus omnia debes. 70 
Haec satis ad iuvenem quern nobis fama superbum 
tradit et inflatum plenumque Nerone propinquo ; 
rarus enim ferme sensus communis in ilia 
fortuna. sed te censeri laude tuorum, 
i hinc conj. by Weidner and confirmed by GU; P*haveft*c. 
1 Famous racers. 


lowest rabble you will find a Roman who has elo- 
quence, one who will plead the cause of the unlet- 
tered noble ; you must go to the toga-clad herd for 
a man to untie the knots and riddles of the law. 
From them will come the brave young soldier who 
marches to the Euphrates, or to the eagles that 
guard the conquered Batavians, while you are nothing 
but a Cecropid, the image of a limbless Hermes ! 
For in no respect but one have you the advantage 
over him : his head is of marble, while yours is a 
living effiarv ! 

56 Tell me, thou scion of the Trojans, who deems a 
dumb animal well-born unless it be strong ? It is for 
this that we commend the swift horse whose speed sets 
every hand aglow, and fills the Circus witli the hoarse 
shout of victory ; that horse is noblest, on whatever 
pasture reared, whose rush outstrips the rest, and 
whose dust is foremost upon the plain. But the off- 
spring of Coryphaeus 1 or Hirpinus 1 comes to the 
hammer if Victory light but seldom on his car : no 
respect is there paid to ancestors, no favour is shown 
to Shades ! The slow of foot, that are fit only to 
turn a miller's wheel, pass, for a mere nothing, from 
one owner to another, and gall their necks against 
the collar. So, if I am to respect yourself, and not 
your belongings, give me something of your own to 
engrave among your titles, in addition to those 
honours which we pay, and have paid, to those to 
whom you owe your all. 

71 Enough this for the youth whom report has 
handed down to us as proud and puffed up with his 
kinship to Nero : for in those high places regard for 
others is rarely to be found. But for you, Ponticus, 
I cannot wish that you should be, valued for the 

m 2 


Pontice, noluerim sic ut nihil ipse futurae 7o 

laudis agas. miser um est aliorum incumbere tamae, 
ne conlapsa ruant subductis tecta columnis. 
stratus humi palmes viduas desiderat ulmos. 
esto bonus miles, tutor bonus, arbiter idem 
integer ; ambiguae si quando citabere testis 6U 

incertaeque rei, Phalavis licet imperet ut sis 
falsus et admoto dictet periuria tauro, 
summum crede nefas animam praeferre pudon, 
et propter vitam vivendi perdere causas. 
dignus morte perit, cenet licet ostrea centum »D 

Gaurana et Cosmi toto mergatur aeno. 

Expectata diu tandem provincia cum te 
rectorem accipiet, 1 pone irae frena modumque, 
pone et avaritiae, miserere inopum sociorum : 
ossa vides rerum 2 vacuis exucta medullis ; W 

respice quid moneant leges, quid curia mandet, 
praemia quanta bonos maneant, quam fulmine msto 
et Capito et Numitor ruerint damnante senatu, 
piratae Cilicum. sed quid danmatio confert ? 
praeconem, Chaerippe, tuis circumspice panms, \)5 
cum Pansa eripiat quidquid tibi Natta reliquit, 
iamque tace ; furor est post omnia perdere naulum. 

1 accipiet ty : accipiat PAF. 
« rerum PFGU : reguvi ALOT. 

i The famous tyrant of Agrigentum, who slowly roasted his 
victims in a brazen bull. . 

2 Gaurus was a hill overlooking the Lucrine lake. 

s A well-known perfumer. .. 

< Condemned for extortion in Cihcia. SeeTac^nn. xm.33. 

b The word piratae is used because the Cihuans were 

notorious pirates. , 

8 The native Cilicians reap no benefit from the condemna- 
tion of the governors. 



glories of your race while doing nothing that shall 
bring you praise in the days to come. It is a poor 
thing to lean upon the fame of others, lest the pillars 
give way and the house fall down in ruin. The vine- 
shoot, trailing upon the ground, longs for the widowed 
elm. Be a stout soldier, a faithful guardian, and an 
incorruptible judge ; if summoned to bear witness in 
some dubious and uncertain cause, though Phalaris l 
himself should bring up his bull and dictate to you 
a perjury, count it the greatest of all sins to prefer 
life to honour, and to lose, for the sake of living, all 
that makes life worth having. The man who merits 
death is already dead, though he dine off a hundred 
Lucrine 2 oysters, and bathe in a whole cauldron of 
Cosmus' 3 essences. 

87 When you enter your long-expected Province as 
its Governor, set a curb and a limit to your passion, 
as also to your greed ; have compassion on the im- 
poverished provincials, whose very bones have been 
sucked dry of marrow ; have regard to what the 
law ordains, what the Senate enjoins ; consider what 
honours await the good ruler, with what a just 
thunderstroke the Senate hurled down Capito and 
Numitor, 4 those plunderers 5 of the Cilicians. Yet 
what profit was there from their condemnation ? 6 
Look out for an auctioneer, Chaerippus, 7 to sell your 
chattels, seeing that Pansa has stripped you of all 
that Natta left. And hold your tongue about it; 
when all else is gone, it is madness to throw away 
your passage-money. 8 

7 Chaerippus is a Cilician native who is advised to sell 
anything he has left. Pansa and Natta are fictitious names 
to denote the plundering governors. 

8 i.e. the fee to be given to Charon for the passage over 
the Styx. Some take it of the passage-money to Rome. 



Non idem gemitus olim neque vulnus erat par 
damnorum sociis florentibus et modo victis. 
plena domustunc omnis, et ingens stabat acervus 100 
nummovum, Spartana chlamys, conchylia Coa, 
et cum Parrhasii tabulis signisque Myronis 
Phidiacum vivebat ebur, nee non Polycliti 
multus ubique labor, rarae sine Mentore mensae. 
inde Dolabella [atque hinc] Antonius, inde 105 

sacrilegus Verres referebant navibus altis 
occulta spolia et plures de pace triumphos. 
nunc sociis iuga pauca bourn, grex parvus equarum, 
et pater armenti capto eripietur agello, 
ipsi deinde Lares, si quod spectabile signum, 110 

si quis in aedicula deus unicus ; haec etenim sunt 
pro summis, iam l sunt haec maxima, despicias tu 
forsitan inbellis Rhodios unctamque Corinthon ; 
despicias merito : quid resinata iuventus 
cruraque totius facient tibi levia gentis? 115 

horrida vitanda est Hispania, Gallicus axis 
Illyricumque latus ; parce et messoribus illis 
qui saturant urbem circo scaenaeque vacantem ; 
quanta autem inde feres tam dirae praemia culpae, 
cum tenuis nuper Marius discinxerit Afros ? 120 

curandum in primis ne magna iniuria fiat 

1 iam conj. by Biich.: nam Pd/ and Biich. (1893) : Housm. 
conj. quis. 

1 These are all names of famous Greek artists of the third 
and fourth centuries. 

2 Cornelius Dolabella, condemned of extortion in Cilicia, 

B.c. 78. 

* C. Antonius, uncle of Mark Antony, expelled from the 

Senate for extortion, B.C. 70. 


98 Very different in days of old were the wailinga 
of our allies and the harm inflicted on them by 
losses, when they had been newly conquered and 
were wealthy still. Their houses then were all 
well-stored ; they had piles of money, with Spartan 
mantles and Coan purples; beside the paintings of 
Parrhasius, and the statues of Myron, stood the 
living ivories of Phidias ; everywhere the works of 
Polyclitus were to be seen ; few tables were without 
a Mentor. 1 But after that came now a Dolabella, 2 
now an Antonius, 3 and now a sacrilegious Verres, 4 
loading big ships with secret spoils, peace-trophies 
more numerous than those of war. Nowadays, on 
capturing a farm, you may rob our allies of a few 
yoke of oxen, or a few mares, with the sire of the 
herd ; or of the household gods themselves, if there 
be a good statue left, or a single Deity in his little 
shrine ; such are the best and choicest things to be 
got now. You despise perchance, and deservedly, 
the unwarlike Rhodian and the scented Corinthian : 
what harm will their resined 5 youths do you, or the 
smooth legs of the entire breed ? But keep clear of 
rugged Spain, avoid the land of Gaul and the Dal- 
matian shore ; spare, too, those harvesters 6 who fill 
the belly of a city that has no leisure save for the 
Circus and the play : what great profit can you reap 
from outrages upon Libyans, seeing that Marius 7 
has so lately stripped Africa to the skin? Beware 
above all things to do no wrong to men who are at 

* C. Verres, propraetor of Sicily B.C. 73-70, attacked by 
Cicero in his famous Verrine orations. 

5 Resin was used as a depilatory. 

i.e. of Africa, whence came the main part of the Roman 
supplies of corn. 7 See n. to i. 49. 



fortibus et miseris. tollas licet omne quod usquam 

auri atque argenti : scutum gladiumque relinques. 
[et iaculum et galeam spoliatis arma supersunt.] 

Quod modo proposui, non est sententia : verum 
est, 125 

credite me vobis folium recitare Sibyllae. 
si tibi sancta cohors comitum, si nemo tribunal 
vendit acersecomes, si nullum in coniuge crimen 
nee per conventus et cuncta per oppida curvis 
unguibus ire parat nummos raptura Celaeno, 130 

turn licet a Pico numeres genus, altaque si te 
nomina delectant, omnem Titanida pugnam 
inter maiores ipsumque Promethea ponas, . 
de quocumque voles proavum tibi sumito libro. 
quod si praecipitem rapit ambitio atque libido, 135 
si frangis virgas sociorum in sanguine, si te 
delectant hebetes lasso lictore secures, 
incipit ipsorum contra te stare parentum 
nobilitas claramque facem praeferre pudendis. 
omne animi vitium tanto conspectius in se 140 

crimen habet, quanto maior qui peccat habetur. 
quo mihi te solitum falsas signare tabellas 
in templis quae fecit avus statuamque parentis 
ante triumplialem ? quo, si nocturnus adulter 
tempora Santonico velas adoperta cucullo? 145 

Praeter maiorum cineres atque ossa volucri 
carpento rapitur pinguis Lateranus, et ipse, 

1 A mythical Latin king, son of Saturn, and father of 



once brave and miserable. You may take from them 
all the gold and silver that they have ; but plundered 
though they be, they will still have their arms ; they 
will still have their shields and their swords, their 
javelins and helmets. 

125 What I have just propounded is no mere 
theme, it is the truth ; you may take it that I am 
reading out to you one of the Sibyl's leaves. If 
your whole staff be incorruptible : if no long-haired 
Ganymede sells your judgments; if your wife be 
blameless; if, in your circuit through the towns and 
districts, there is no Harpy ready to pounce with 
crooked talons upon gold, — then you may trace back 
your race to Picus x ; if you delight in lofty names, 
you may count the whole array of Titans, and 
Prometheus himself, among your ancestors, and 
select for yourself a great-grandfather from what- 
ever myth you please. But if you are carried away 
headlong by ambition and by lust; if you break 
your rods upon the bleeding backs of our allies ; if 
you love to see your axes blunted and your heads- 
men weary, then the nobility of your own parents 
begins to rise up in judgment against you, and to 
hold a glaring torch over your misdeeds. The greater 
the sinner's name, the more signal the guiltiness of 
the sin. If you are wont to put your signature to 
forged deeds, what matters it to me that you sign 
them in temples built by your grandfather, or in 
front of the triumphal statue of your father ? What 
does that matter, if you steal out at night for 
adultery, your brow concealed under a cowl of 
Gallic wool ? 

14e The bloated Lateranus whirls past the bones 
and ashes of his ancestors in a rapid car ; with his 



ipse rotam adstringit sufflamine mulio 1 consul. 

nocte quidem, sed Luna videt, sed sidera testes 

intendunt oculos. finitum tempus honoris 150 

cum fuerit, clara Lateranus luce flagellum 

sumet et occursum numquam trepidabit amici 

iam senis ac virga prior annuet, atque maniplos 

solvet et infundet iumentis hordea lassis. 

interea, dum lanatas robumque iuvencum 155 

more Numae caedit, Iovis ante altaria iurat 

solam Eponam et fades olida ad praesepia pictas. 

sed cum pervigiles placet instaurare popinas, 

obvius adsiduo Syrophoenix unctus amomo 

currit, Idymaeae Syrophoenix incola portae, 160 

hospitis adfectu dominum regemque salutat, 

et cum venali Cyane succincta lagona. 

Defensor culpae dicet mihi " fecimus et nos 
haec iuvenes." esto, desisti nempe nee ultra 
fovisti errorem. breve sit quod turpiter audes ; lo5 
quaedam cum prima resecentur crimina barba. 
indulge veniam pueris : Lateranus ad illos 
thermarum calices inscriptaque lintea vadit 
maturus bello Armeniae Syriaeque tuendis 
amnibus et Rheno atque Histro ; praestare Nero- 

securum valet haec aetas. mitte Ostia, Caesar, 
mitte, sed in magna legatum quaere popina ; 
invenies aliquo cum percussore iacentem, 
permixtum nautis et furibus ac fugitivis, 

i All edd before Biicheler (1886) read mullo. The true 
reading mulio was found in the Florilegium Sangallense and 
is confirmed elsewhere. See Duffs and Housman s notes on 
the passage. 

i Lateranus is called mulio as a term of reproach. 

* A low quarter of Rome ; perhaps the Jews quarter. 



own hands this muleteer J Consul locks the wheel 
with the drag. It is by night, indeed : but the moon 
looks on ; the stars strain their eyes to see. When 
his time of office is over, Lateranus will take up his 
whip in broad daylight ; not shrinking to meet a 
now-aged friend, he will be the first to salute him 
with his whip ; he will unbind the trusses of hay, and 
deal out the fodder to his weary cattle. Meanwhile, 
though he slays woolly victims and tawny steers 
after Numa's fashion, he swears by no other deity 
before Jove's high altar than the Goddess of horse- 
flesh, and the images painted on the reeking stables. 
And when it pleases him to go back to the all-night 
tavern, a Syro-Phoenician runs forth to meet him- — a 
denizen of the Idumaean gate 2 perpetually drenched 
in perfumes — and salutes him as lord and prince 
with all the airs of a host ; and with him comes 
Cyane, her dress tucked up, carrying a flagon of 
wine for sale. 

163 An apologist will say to me, u We too did the 
same as boys." Perhaps : but then you ceased from 
your follies and let them drop. Let your evil days 
be short ; let some of your misdoings be cut off with 
your first beard. 3 Boys may be pardoned ; but when 
Lateranus frequented those hot liquor shops with 
their inscribed linen awnings, he was of ripe age, 
fit to guard in arms the Armenian and Syrian rivers, 
the Danube and the Rhine ; fit to protect the person 
of his Emperor. Send your Legate to Ostia, O 
Caesar, but search for him in some big cookshop ! 
There you will find him, lying cheek-by-jowl beside 
a cut-throat, in the company of bargees, thieves, and 

3 The first cutting off of the beard of a son or a labourite 
was attended with some ceremony. 



inter carnifices et fabros sandapilarum 175 

et resupinati cessantia tympana galli. 
aequa ibi libertas, communia pocula, lectus 
non alius cuiquam, nee mensa remotior ulli. 
quid facias talem sortitus, Pontice, servum? 
nempe in Lucanos aut Tusca ergastula mittas. 180 
at vos, Troiugenae, vobis ignoscitis, et quae 
turpia cerdoni, Volesos Brutumque decebunt. 

Quid si numquam adeo foedis adeoque pudendis 
utimur exemplis, ut non peiora supersint ? 
consumptis opibus vocem, Damasippe, locasti 185 
sipario, clamosum ageres ut Phasma Catulli. 
Laureolum velox etiam bene Lentulus egit, 
iudice me dignus vera cruce. nee tamen ipsi 
ignoscas populo ; populi frons durior huius 
qui sedet et spectat triscurria patriciorum 190 

planipedes audit Fabios, ridere potest qui 
Mamercorum alapas. quanti sua funera vendant 
quid refert ? vendunt nullo cogente Nerone, 
nee dubitant celsi praetoris vendere ludis. 
finge tamen gladios inde atque hinc pulpita 

poni, 1 195 

quid satius ? mortem sic quisquam exhorruit, ut sit 
zelotypus Thymeles, stupidi collega Corinthi? 
1 poni P ; pone ^. 

1 Private prisons in which gangs of slaves were kept in 

2 Siparinm was a curtain separating the front part of the 
stage, on which mimes were acted, from the back. 

3 A writer of mimi. 

4 A highwayman who was crucified. 
6 Actors in mimes wore no shoes. 



runaway slaves, beside hangmen and coffin-makers, 
or of some eunuch priest lying drunk with idle 
timbrels. Here is Liberty Hall ! One cup serves 
for everybody ; no one has a bed to himself, nor 
a table apart from the rest. What would you do, 
friend Ponticus, if you chanced upon a slave like 
this ? You would send him to your Lucanian or 
Tuscan bridewell. 1 But you gentlemen of Trojan 
blood find excuses for yourselves ; what would dis- 
grace a huckster sits gracefully on a Volesus or a 
Brutus ! 

183 What if I can never cite any example so foul and 
shameful that there is not something worse behind ? 
Your means exhausted, Damasippus, you hired out 
your voice to the stage, 2 taking the part of the 
Clamorous Ghost of Catullus. 3 The nimble Lentulus 
acted famously the part of Laureolus 4 : deserving, 
in my judgment, to be really and truly crucified. 
Nor can the spectators themselves be forgiven : the 
populace that with brazen front sits and beholds the 
triple buffooneries of our patricians, that can listen to 
a bare-footed 5 Fabius, and laugh to see the Mamerci 
cuffing each other. What matters it at what price 
they sell their deaths ? 6 No Nero compels them to 
sell ; yet they hesitate not to sell themselves at the 
games of the exalted Praetor. And yet suppose that 
on one side of you were placed a sword, on the other 
the stage : which were the better choice ? Was ever 
any man so afraid of death that he would choose to 
be the jealous husband of a Thymele, or the colleague 
of the clown Corinthus ? Yet when an Emperor 7 

s 'To sell their deaths" is equivalent to "to sell their 
lives." The word funera may also suggest that these de 
generate nobles are destroying the old glories of their families. 

7 Nero. 



res haut mira tamen citharoedo principe mimus 
nobilis. haec ultra quid erit nisi ludus ? et illic 
dedecus urbis habes, nee murmillonis in armis 200 
nee clipeo Gracchum pugnantem aut falce supina ; 
damnat enim tales habitus, sed damnat et odit ; 
nee galea faciem abscondit : movet ecce tridentem. 
postquam vibrata pendentia retia dextra 
nequiquam effudit, nudum ad spectacula vc-ltum 205 
erigit et tota fugit agnoscendus harena. 
credamus tunicae, de faucibus aufea cum se 
porrigat et longo iactetur spira galero. 
ergo ignominiam graviorem pertulit omni 
vulnere cum Graccho iussus pugnare secutor. 210 

Libera si dentur populo suffragia, quis tam 
perditus ut dubitet Senecam praeferre Neroni? 
cuius supplicio non debuit una parari 
simia nee serpens unus nee culleus unus. 
par Agamemnonidae crimen, sed causa facit rem 215 
dissimilem : quippe ille deis auctoribus ultor 
patris erat caesi media inter pocula. sed nee 
Electrae iugulo se polluit aut Spartani 
sanguine coniugii, nullis aconita propinquis 
miscuit, in scaena numquam cantavit Orestes, 220 

1 The phrase falce supina = " a sickle on its back"; the 
point of the weapon was bent backwards instead of forwards. 

2 It was a disgrace for Gracchus to fight as a retiarius. 
Having no armour, he had to run away if he missed his throw 
with the net. His adversary was fully armed. 

3 Galerus or gahrum was probably a kind of helmet or 
cap. The Schol. here says Galerus est humero impoxitus 
gladiatoris. See Duff and Mayor. 

4 Seneca had to open his veins by Nero's order. 

5 The ancient punishment for parricide was that the 
criminal should be tied up in a sack along with a dog, an 
ape, a snake, and a cock, and then cast into the sea. 



has taken to harp-playing, it is not so very strange 
that a noble should act in a mime. Beyond this, 
what will be left but the gladiatorial school ? And 
that scandal too you have seen in our city : a Grac- 
chus fighting, not indeed as a murmillo, nor with the 
round shield and scimitar x : such accoutrements he 
rejects, ay rejects and detests ; nor does a helmet 
shroud his face. See how lie wields his trident ! and 
when with poised right hand he has cast the trailing 
net in vain, he lifts up his bare face to the benches 
and flies, for all to recognise, from one end of the 
arena to the other. 2 We cannot mistake the golden 
tunic that flutters from his throat, and the twisted 
cord that dangles from the high-crowned cap 3 ; and 
so the pursuer who was pitted against Gracchus en- 
dured a shame more grievous than any wound. 

an If free suffrage were granted to the people, 
who would be so abandoned as not to prefer Seneca 4 
to Nero — Nero, for whose chastisement no single ape 
or adder, no solitary sack, 5 should have been pro- 
vided ? His crime was like that of Agamemnon's 
son 6 ; but the case was not the same, seeing that 
Orestes, at the bidding of the Gods, was avenging 
a father slain in his cups. 7 Orestes never stained 
himself with Electra's blood, or with that of his 
Spartan wife 8 ; he never mixed poison-drafts for his 
own kin ; he never sang upon the stage, 9 he never 

6 Orestes slew his mother Clytemnestra in revenge for the 
murder of his father. But he did not slay a sister or a wife 
as Nero slew his wife Octavia and his half-sister Antonia. 

7 So Homer, Od. xi. 409. The tragedian's story is that 
Agamemnon was slain in his bath. 8 Hermione. 

9 In the year a.d. 59 Nero presented himself upon the 
stage (Tac. Ann. xiv. 15). In a.d. 67-8 he made a tour of 
the Greek games and won prizes at many musical contests. 



Troica non scripsit. quid enim Verginius armis 
debuit ulcisci magis aut cum Vindice Galba, 
quod 1 Nero tam saeva crudaque tyrannide fecit ? 
haec opera atque hae sunt generosi principis artes, 
gaudentis foedo peregrina ad pulpita cantu 225 

prostitui Graiaeque apium meruisse coronae. 
maiorum effigies habeant insignia vocis, 
ante pedes Domiti longum tu pone Thyestae 
syrma vel Antigones vel personam Melanippes, 
et de marmoreo citharam suspende colosso. 230 

Quid, Catilina, tuis natalibus atque Cethegi 
inveniet quisquam sublimius ? arma tamen vos 
nocturna et flammas domibus templisque paratis, 
ut bracatorum pueri Senonumque minores, 
ausi quod liceat tunica punire molesta. 235 

sed vigilat consul vexillaque vestra coercet ; 
hie novus Arpinas, ignobilis et modo Romae 
municipalis eques, galeatum ponit ubique 
praesidium attonitis et in omni monte laborat. 
tantum igitur muros intra toga contulit illi 240 

1 quod Madvig : quid P^. 

1 Verginius Rufus, Legate of Upper Germany, defeated 
the revolting Vindex, and refused to be named emperor after 
Galha's death in a.d. 69. 

2 C. Julius Vindex, propraetor of the province Lugdu- 
nensis, revolted against Nero in A.D. 68, and was defeated 
by Verginius. . 

3 Not the father of Nero, but one of his distinguished 
ancestors on his father's side. Nero's name before his 
adoption by Claudius was L. Domitius Ahenobarbua. 

4 Tragic parts acted by Nero. 



wrote an Epic upon Troy ! For of all the deeds of 
Nero's cruel and bloody tyranny, which was there 
that more deserved to be avenged by the arms of a 
Verginius, 1 of a Vindex 2 or a Galba ? These were 
the deeds, these the graces of our high-born Prince, 
whose delight it was to prostitute himself by un- 
seemly singing upon a foreign stage, and to earn a 
chaplet of Greek parsley ! Let thy ancestral images 
be decked with the trophies of thy voice ! Place 
thou at the feet of a Domitius 3 the trailing robe of 
Thyestes 4 or Antigone, 4 or the mask of Melanippa, 4 
and hang up thy harp on a colossus 5 of marble ! 

231 Where can be found, O Catiline, nobler ances- 
tors than thine, or than thine, Cethegus ? 6 Yet you 
plot a night attack, you prepare to give our houses 
and temples to the flames as though you were the 
sons of trousered 7 Gauls, or sprung from the Senones, 8 
daring deeds that deserved the shirt of torture. 9 But 
our Consul 10 is awake, and beats back your hosts. 
Born at Arpinum, of ignoble blood, a municipal 
knight new to Rome, he posts helmeted men at 
every point to guard the affrighted citizens, and is 
alert on every hill. Thus within the walls his toga 
won for him as much name and honour as Octavius 

6 This is doubtless meant as a hit at the famous bronze 
Colossus of Nero. 

6 C. Cornelius Cethegus was the most prominent associate 
of Catiline in the long-nursed conspiracy which was crushed 
by Cicero as consul in B.C. 63. 

7 Narbonese Gaul was called bracata because its inhabi- 
tants wore trousers. 

8 The Gauls who defeated the Romans in the battle of the 
Allia, B.C. 390. 

9 A shirt lined with pitch in which the victims were burnt 
to death. See above i. 115 and Tac. Ann. xv. 44. 

10 Cicero. 



nominis ac tituli, quantum [in *] Leucade, quantum 

Thessaliae campis Octavius abstulit udo 

caedibus adsiduis gladio ; sed Roma parentem, 

Roma patrem patriae Ciceronem libera dixit. 

Arpinas alius Volscorum in monte solebat 245 

poscere mercedes alieno lassus aratro, 

nodosam post haec frangebat vertice vitem, 

si lentus pigra muniret castra dolabra ; 

hie tamen et Cimbros et summa pericula rerum 

excipit et solus trepidantem protegit urbem. 250 

atque ideo, postquam ad Cimbros stragemque 

qui numquam attigerant maiora cadavera corvi, 
nobilis ornatur lauro collega secunda. 

Plebeiae Deciorum animae, plebeia fuerunt 
nomina ; pro totis legionibus hi tamen et pro 255 
omnibus auxiliis atque omni pube Latina 
sufficiunt dis infernis Terraeque parenti ; 
[pluris enim Decii quam quae servantur ab illis.] 

Ancilla natus trabeam et diadema Quirini 
et fasces meruit, regum ultimus ille bonorum. 260 
prodita laxabant portarum claustra tyrannis 
exulibus iuvenes ipsius consulis et quos 

1 If we read in with PSGU the line is deficient metrically. 
\fz has non : Owen conj. vi. 

1 The island of Leucas here stands for the battle of Ac- 
tium, though it was many miles distant from the place 
where the battle was fought. 

a The battle of Philippi (B.C. 42) is meant, though Philippi 
was in Macedonia, not in Thessaly. The battle fought in 
Thessaly was the battle of Pharsalia, B.C. 49. The Roman 
poets confound the two battles. 



gained by battle in Leucas l ; as much as Octavius 
won by his blood-dripping sword on the plains of 
Thessaly 2 ; but then Rome was yet free when she 
styled him the Parent and Father of his country ! 
Another son of Arpinum 3 used to work for hire upon 
the Volscian hills, toiling behind a plough not his 
own ; after that, a centurion's knotty staff would be 
broken over his head 4 if his pick were slow and 
sluggish in the trench. Yet it is he who faces the 
Cimbri, 5 and the mightiest perils ; alone he saves the 
trembling city. And so when the ravens, who had 
never before seen such huge carcasses, flew down 
upon the slaughtered Cimbri, his high-born colleague 
is decorated with the second bay. 

254 Plebeian were the souls of the Decii, 6 plebeian 
were their names ; yet they were accepted by the 
Gods beneath and by Mother Earth in lieu of all the 
Legions and the allies, and all the youth of Latium, 
for the Decii were more precious than the hosts 
whom they saved. 

259 It was one born of a slave who won the robe 
and diadem and fasces of Quirinus — the last he of 
our good Kings 7 — whereas the Consul's own sons, 
who should have dared some great thing for en- 
dangered liberty — some deed to be marvelled at by 

3 C. Marins. 

4 i. e. he served as a private soldier. 

5 The Cimbri and Teutones were utterly defeated by 
Marias and his colleague Q. Lutatius Catulus on the Raudian 
plain in B.C. 101. Catulus shared in the triumph, but all 
the honour was given to Marins. 

6 P. Decius Mus, in the Latin War, B.C. 340, gained the 
victory for the Romans by devoting himself and the enemy 
to destruction ; his son did the same in the battle of Sen- 
tinum, B.C. 295. 

7 Servius Tullius. 


N 2 


magnum aliquid dubia pro libertate deceret, 
quod miraretur cum Coclite Mucius et quae 
imperii fines Tiberinum virgo natavit : 265 

occulta ad patres produxit crimina servus 
matronis lugendus, at illos verbera iustis 
adficiunt poenis et legum prima securis. 

Malo pater tibi sit ThersiteSj dummodo tu sis 
Aeacidae similis Vulcaniaque arma capessas, 270 

quam te Thersitae similem producat Achilles, 
et tamem ut longe repetas longeque revolvas 
nomen, ab infami gentem deducis asylo : 
maiorum primus, quisquis fuit ille, tuorum 
aut pastor fuit aut illud quod dicere nolo. 275 


Scire velim, quare totiens mihi, Naevole, tristis 
occurras, fronte obducta ceu Marsya victus. 
quid tibi cum vultu, qualem deprensus habebat 
Ravola, dum Rhodopes uda terit inguina barba ? 
nos colaphum incutimus lambenti crustula servo, 
non erit hac facie miserabilior Crepereius 


Horatius Codes, who " kept the bridge so well"; Mucius 
Scaevola, to show his courage, put his hand into the flames in 
Porsena's camp. 

I So 


Mucius or Codes, 1 or by the maiden 2 who swam 
across the river-boundary of our realm — were for 
traitorously loosing the bolts of the city gates to the 
exiled tyrants. It was a slave — well worthy he to 
be bewailed by matrons — who revealed the secret 
plot to the Fathers, while the sons met their just 
punishment from scourging and from the axe then 
first used in the cause of Law. 

260 j would rather that Thersites were your father 
if only you were like the grandson of Aeacus, 3 and 
could wield the arms of Vulcan, than that you should 
have been begotten by Achilles and be like Thersites. 
Yet, after all, however far you may trace back your 
name, however long the roll, you derive your race 
from an ill-famed asylum : the first of your ancestors, 
whoever he was, was either a shepherd or something 
that I would rather not name. 


The Sorrows of a Reprobate 

I should like to know, Naevolus, why you so often 
look gloomy when I meet you, knitting your brow 
like a vanquished Marsyas. 4 What have you to do 
with the look that Ravola wore when caught playing 
that dirty trick with Rhodope ? If a slave takes a 
lick at the pastiy, he gets a thrashing for his pains! 
Why do you look as woe-begone as Crepereius Pollio 

2 Cloelia, the hostage who escaped by swimming across the 

3 Achilles is called Aeacides as he was the grandson of 

4 Flayed by Apollo when beaten in a musical contest. 



Pollio, qui triplicem usuram praestare paratus 

eircumit et fatuos non invenit. unde repente 

tot rugae ? certe modico contentus agebas 

vernam equitem, conviva ioco mordente facetus 10 

et salibus vehemens intra pomeria natis. 

omnia nunc contra : vultus gravis, horrida siccae 

silva comae, nullus tota nitor in cute, qualem 

Bruttia praestabat calidi tibi fascia visci, 1 

sed fruticante pilo neglecta et squalida crura. 15 

quid macies aegri veteris, quern tempore Ion go 

torret quarta dies olimque domes tica febris ? 

deprendas animi tormenta latentis in aegro 

corpore, deprendas et gaudia ; sumit utrumque 

inde habitum facies. igitur flexisse videris 20 

propositum et vitae contrarius ire priori. 

nuper enim, ut repeto, fanum Isidis et Ganymedem 

Pacis et advectae secreta Palatia matris 

et Cererem (nam quo non prostat femina templo ?) 

notior Aufidio moechus celebrare 2 solebas, 25 

quodque taces, ipsos etiam inclinare maritos. 

" Utile et boc multis vitae genus, at mihi nullum 
inde operae pretium. pingues aliquando lacernas, 
munimenta togae, duri crassique colons 
et male percussas textoris pectine Galli 30 

accipimus, tenue argentum venaeque secundae. 
fata regunt homines, fatum est et partibus illis 
ouas sinus abscondit. nam si tibi sidera cessant, 
nil faciet longi mensura incognita nervi, 
quamvis te nudum spumanti Virro labello 35 

viderit et blandae adsidue densaeque tabellae 

1 GU give this line in two places, here and after line 11. 
The reading is uncertain. Owen reads lita for tibi, taken 
from circumlita in i^. 

2 scelerare P Biich. : celebrare ^ ( " f or tasse melius Housm. ). 



when he goes round offering a triple rate of interest, 
and can find no fool to trust him ? Why have you 
suddenly developed those wrinkles? You used to be 
an easily contented person, who passed as a home-bred 
knight that could make biting jests at the dinner- 
table and tell witty town-bred stories. But now 
you are a different man. You have a hang-dog look ; 
your head is a forest of unkempt, unanointed hair ; 
your skin has lost all the gloss that it got from 
swathes of hot Bruttian pitch, and your legs are 
dirty and rough with sprouting hair. Why are you 
as thin as a chronic invalid in whom a quartan fever 
has long made its home ? One can detect in a 
sickly body the secret torments of the soul, as also 
its joys : the face takes on the stamp of either. 
You seem, therefore, to have changed your mode of 
life, and to be going in a way opposite to your past. 
Not long ago, as I remember, you were a gallant 
more notorious than Aufidius ; you used to frequent 
the Temple of Isis and that of Peace with its 
Ganymede, and the secret courts of the Foreign 
Mother — for in what temple are there not frail fair 
ones to be found ? 

27 " Many men have found profit in my mode 
of life; but I have made nothing substantial out 
of my labours. I sometimes have a greasy cloak given 
me that will save my toga— a coarse and crudely 
dyed garment that has been ill-combed by the 
Gallic weaver — or some trifle in silver of an in- 
ferior quality. Man is ruled by destiny ; even those 
parts of him that lie beneath his clothes. . . . What 



sollicitent, auros yap e<£e'A./ceTai avSpa KiVaiSos. 
quod tamen ulterius monstrum quam mollis avarus ? 
c haec tribui, deinde ilia dedi, mox plura tulisti ' ; 
computat, et cevet. ponatur calculus, adsint 40 

cum tabula pueri ; numera 1 sestertia quinque 
omnibus in rebus : numerentur deinde labores. 
an facile et pronum est agere intra viscera penem 
legitimum atque illic hesternae occurrere cenae ? 
servus erit minus ille miser qui foderit agrum, 45 
quam dominum ; sed tu sane tenerum et puerum te 
et pulchrum et dignum cyatho caeloque putabas. 
vos liumili adseculae, vos indulgebitis umquam 
cultori, iam nee morbo donare parati ? 
en cui tu viridem umbellain, cui sucina mittas 50 

grandia, natalis quotiens redit aut madidum ver 
incipit et strata positus longaque cathedra 
munera femineis tractat secreta kalendis. 

" Die, passer, cui tot montis, tot praedia servas 
Apula, tot milvos intra tua pascua lassos ? 55 

te Trifolinus ager fecundis vitibus implet 
suspectumque iugum Cumis et Gaurus inanis — 
nam quis plura linit victuro dolia musto ? — 
quantum erat exhausti lumbos donare clientis 
iugeribus piucis ? meliusne hie 2 rusticus infans GO 
cum matre et casulis et conlusore catello 
cymbala pulsantis legatum fiet amici ? 
'improbus es cum poscis/ ait. sed pensio clamat 
' posce ' ; sed appellat puer unicus ut Polyphemi 
lata acies per quam sollers evasit Vlixes ; 65 

1 numera \p : numeras P. 

2 For nt hie (P\p) Housm. conj. nunc. 

1 The 1st of March ; see Hop. Qd, ni. viii. 1. 


greater monster is there in the world than a miserly 
debauchee? 'I gave you this/ says he, 'and then 
that ; and later again ever so much more.' Thus he 
makes a reckoning with his lusts. Well, set out the 
counters, call in the lads with the reckoning board, 
count out five thousand sesterces all told, and then 
enumerate my services. ... I am less accounted of 
than the poor hind who ploughs his master's field. 
You used to deem yourself a delicate and good- 
looking youth, fit to be Jove's own cup-bearer ; but 
will men like you, who are unwilling to pay for your 
own morbid pleasures, ever show a kindness to a 
poor follower or a slave ? A pretty fellow to have 
presents sent him of green sunshades or big amber 
balls on a birthday, or on the first day of showery 
spring, when he lolls at full length in a huge easy 
chair counting over the secret gifts he has received 
upon the Matron's Day ! 1 

54 "Tell me, you sparrow, for whose benefit are you 
keeping all those hills and farms in Apulia, all those 
pasture-lands that tire out the kites ? Your stores 
are filled with rich grapes from your Trifoline vine- 
yard, or from the slopes that look down upon Cumae, 
or the unpeopled Gam-us ; whose vats seal up 
more vintages destined for long life than yours ? 
Would it be a great matter to present a few acres to 
the loins of an exhausted client ? Is it better, think 
you, that this country woman, with her cottage and 
her babe and her pet dog, should be bequeathed to a 
friend who plays the timbrels ? ' You're an impudent 
beggar,' you say. Yes, but my rent cries on me to 
beg ; and so does my single slave-lad — as single as 
that big eye of Polyphemus which helped the wily 
Ulysses to make his escape. And one slave is not 



alter emendus erit, namque hie non sufficit, ambo 
pascendi. quid agam bruma spirante ? quid, oro, 
quid dicam scapulis puerorum aquilone Decembri 
et pedibus ? ' durate atque expectate cicadas ' ? 

« Verum ut dissimules, ut mittas cetera, quanto 70 
metiris pretio, quod ni tibi deditus essem 
devotusque cliens, uxor tua virgo maneret ? 
scis certe quibus ista modis, quam saepe rogaris, 
et quae pollicitus. fugientem saepe puellam 
amplexu rapui ; tabulas quoque ruperat et iam 75 
signabat : tota vix hoc ego nocte redemi 
te plorante foris ; testis mihi lectulus et tu, 
ad quem pervenit lecti sonus et dominae vox. 
instabile ac dirimi coeptum et iam paene solutum 
coniuo-ium in multis domibus servavit adulter. 80 

quo te circumagas ? quae prima aut ultima ponas ? 
nullum ergo meritum est, ingrate ac perfide, nullum, 
quod tibi filiolus vel filia nascitur ex me ? 
tollis enim et libris actorum spargere gaudes 
aro-umenta viri. foribus suspende coronas : 85 

iam pater es, dedimus quod famae opponere possis. 
iura parentis habes, propter me scriberis heres, 
legatum omne capis nee non et dulce caducum. 
commoda praeterea iungentur multa caducis, 
si numerum, si tres implevero." 

Iusta doloris, 90 
Naevole, causa tui ; contra tamen ille quid adfert ? 
"neo-legit atque alium bipedem sibi quaerit asellum. 
haec soli commissa tibi celare memento 
et tacitus nostras intra te fige querellas. 



enough ; I shall have to buy a second and feed them 
both. What shall I do, pray, when the winter 
howls ? What shall I say to their shivering feet and 
shoulders when December's north wind blows ? 
Shall I say ' Hold on, and wait till the grasshoppers 
arrive ' ? 

70 " And though you ignore and pass by my other 
services, Avhat price do you put on this, that were I 
not your true and devoted client, your wife would still 
be a maid ? You know how often, and in what ways, 
you have asked that service of me, and what promises 
you made to me. . . . There's many a household in 
which a union that was unstable, ready to break up, 
and all but dissolved, has been saved by the inter- 
vention of a lover. Which way can you turn ? Which 
service do you put first, which last? Is it to be no 
merit, you thankless and perfidious man, none at all, 
that I have presented you with a little son or daugh- 
ter ? For you rear the children, and love to spread 
abroad in the gazette the proofs of your virility. Hang 
up garlands over your door ! You are now a father ; 
I have given you something to set up against ill fame. 
You have now parental rights ; through me )-ou can 
be entered as an heir, and receive a legacy entire, 
with a nice little extra into the bargain ; to all which 
perquisites many more will be added if I make up 
your family to the full number of three." 

90 Indeed, Naevolus, you have just cause of com- 
plaint. But what has he got to say on the other 
side ? " He takes no notice, and looks out for another 
two-legged donkey like myself. But remember, my 
secrets are for your ears alone ; keep my complaints 
fast locked up in your own bosom. It is a fatal 
thing to have for your enemy a man who keeps 



nam res mortifera est inimicus pumice levis ; 95 

qui modo secretum commiserate ardet et odit, 
tamquam prodiderim quidquid scio. sumere ferrum, 
fuste aperire caput, candelam adponere valvis 
non dubitat. nee contemnas aut despicias quod 
his opibus numquam cara est annona veneni. 100 

ergo occulta teges ut curia Martis Athenis." 

Corydon, Corydon, secretum divitis ullum 
esse putas ? servi ut taceant, iumenta loquentur 
et canis et postes et marmora. claude fenestras, 
vela tegant rimas, iunge ostia, tollite lumen, 105 
e medio fac eant omnes, prope nemo recumbat : 
quod tamen ad can turn galli facit ille secundi, 
proximus ante diem caupo sciet, audiet et quae 
finxerunt pariter libarius archimagiri 

carptores. quod enim dubitant componere crimen 110 
in dominos, quotiens rumoribus ulciscuntur 
baltea ? nee derit qui te per compita quaerat 
nolentem et miseram vinosus inebriet aurem. 
illos ergo i-oges quidquid paulo ante petebas 
a nobis, taceant illi. sed prodere malunt 115 

arcanum, quam subrepti potare Falerni 
pro populo faciens quantum Saufeia bibebat. 
vivendum recte cum propter plurima turn est his 1 
[idcirco ut possis linguam contemnere servi.] 
praecipue causis, ut linguas mancipiorum 1 20 

contemnas. nam lingua mali pars pessima servi ; 

1 turn est his. So Housm. instead of the tunc est of PA. 


himself smooth by pumice-stone ! The man who has 
lately entrusted me with a secret has a consuming 
hatred of me, believing I have revealed everything 
that I know; he will not hesitate to take up a sword, 
or to lay open my head with a club, or to put a 
lighted candle against my door. Nor can you dis- 
regard or make nothing of the fact that for a man of 
his means the price of poison is never high. So 
keep my secrets close — as close as did the Council 
of Areopagus ! " 

102 O my poor Corydon ! Do you suppose that 
a rich man has any secrets ? Though his slaves hold 
their tongues, his beasts of burden and his dog will 
talk ; his door posts and his marble columns will tell 
tales. Let him shut the windows, and close every 
chink with curtains ; let him fasten the doors, remove 
the light, turn everyone out of the house, and permit 
no one to sleep in it — yet the tavern-keeper close 
by will know before dawn what he was doing at the 
second cock-crow ; he will hear also all the tales 
invented by the pastry-man, by the head cook and 
the carver. For what calumny will they hesitate to 
concoct against their masters when a slander will 
avenge them for their strappings ? Nor will some 
tippling friend be wanting to look for you at the 
crossways, and, do what you will, pour his drunken 
story into your ear. So just ask those people to hold 
their tongues about the things you questioned me 
about just now ! Why, they would rather blab out 
a secret than drink as much stolen wine as Saufeia 
used to swill when conducting a public sacrifice. 
There are many reasons for right living; but the 
chiefest of them all is this, that you need pay no 
attention to the talk of your slaves. For the tongue 



deterior tamen hie qui liber non erit illis, 
quorum animas et farre suo custodit et aere. 

" Utile consilium modo, sed commune, dedisti. 
nunc mihi quid suades post damnum temporis et 

spes 125 

deceptas ? festinat enim decurrere velox 
nosculus angustae miseraeque brevissima vitae 
portio ; dum bibimus, dum serta unguenta puellas 
poscimuSj obrepit non intellecta senectus." 

Ne trepida, numquam pathicus tibi derit amicus 130 
stantibus et salvis his collibus : undique ad illos 
convenient et carpentis et navibus omnes 
qui digito scalpunt uno caput, altera maior 
spes superest ; tu tantum erucis inprime dentem. 1 
[gratus eris ; tu tantum erucis inprime dentem.] 134a 

" Haec exempla para felicibus. at mea Clotho 135 
et Lachesis gaudent, si pascitur inguine venter. 
o parvi nostrique Lares, quos ture minuto 
aut farre et tenui soleo exorare corona, 
quando ego figam aliquid, quo sit mihi tuta senectus 
a tegete et baculo ? viginti milia faenus 140 

pigneribus positis, argenti vascula puri, 
sed quae Fabricius censor notet, et duo fortes 
de grege Moesorum. qui me cervice locata 
securum iubeant clamoso insistere circo ; 
sit mihi praeterea curvus caelator, et alter 145 

qui multas facies pingit cito ; sufficiunt haec, 
quando ego pauper ero ; votum miserabile, nee spes 

1 After line 134 P has the line bracketed above, being 
mainly a repetition of that line. Housman conjectures an 
omission of five words, and reads the lines thus : 

altera maior 
spes superest ; turbae, properat quae crescere, molli 
gratus eris, tu tantum erucis imprime dentem. 



is the worst part of a bad slave ; and yet worse still is 
the plight of a man who cannot escape from the talk 
of those whom he supports with his own bread and 

124 « y our advice is excellent, but it is vague. What 
do you advise me to do now, after all my lost time 
and disappointed hopes? for the short span of our 
poor unhappy life is hurrying swiftly on, like a flower, 
to its close : while we drink, and call for chaplets, for 
unguents, and for maidens, old age is creeping on us 

130 Be not afraid ; so long as these seven hills of 
ours stand fast, pathic friends will never fail you : 
from every quarter, in carnages and in ships, those 
gentry who scratch their heads with one finger will 
flock in. And you have always a further and 
better ground of hope — if you fit your diet to your 

135 " Such maxims are for the fortunate ; my Clotho 
and Lachesis are well pleased if I can fill my belly 
with my labours. O my own little Lares, whom I am 
wont to supplicate with a pinch of frankincense or 
corn, or with a tiny garland, when can I assure myself 
of what will keep my old days from the beggar's staff 
and mat ? Twenty thousand sesterces, well secured ; 
some vessels of plain silver — yet such as Censor 
Fabricius would have condemned — and a couple of 
stout Moesian porters on whose hired necks I may be 
taken comfortably to my place in the bawling circus. 
Let me have besides a stooping engraver, and a 
painter who will quickly dash off any number of like- 
nesses. Enough this for a poor man like me. It is a 
pitiful prayer, and I have little hope even of that ; 



his saltern ; nam cum pro me Fortuna vocatur, 

adfixit ceras ilia de nave petitas, 

quae Siculos cantus effugit remige surdo." 150 


Omnibus in terris, quae sunt a Gadibus usque 
Auroram et Gangen, pauci dinoscere possunt 
vera bona atque illis multum diversa, remofa 
erroris nebula, quid enim ratione timemus 
aut cupimus ? quid tam dextro pede concipis, ut te 5 
cona'fns non paeniteat votique peracti ? 
evertere domos totas optantibus ipsis 
di faciles. nocitura toga, nocitura petuntur 
militia ; torrens dicendi copia multis 
et sua mortifera est facundia, viribus ille 10 

confisus periit admirandisque lacertis, 
sed plures nimia congesta pecunia cura 
strangulat et cuncta exuperans patrimonia census 
quanto delphinis ballaena Britannica maior. 
temporibus diris igitur iussuque Neronis 15 

Longinum et magnos Senecae praedivitis hortos 
clausit et egregias Lateranorum obsidet aedes 
tota cohors : rarus venit in cenacula miles. 

1 Ulysses stuffed the ears of his followers with wax tc 
prevent them hearing the voices of the Sirens {Od. xii. 
39 foil.). 



A '* whenever Fortune is supplicated on my behalf, 
a 3 plugs her ears with wax fetched from that self- 
same ship which escaped from the Sicilian song- 
stresses through the deafness of her crew." 1 


The Vanity of Human Wishes 

In all the lands that stretch from Gades to the 
Ganges and the Morn, _there are but few who ca n 
distinguish true blessings from their opposites, pu t- 
ting aside the mists pt error. For when does Reason 
direct our desires or our tears ? What project do we 
form so auspiciously that we do not repent us of our 
effort and of the granted wish ? Whole households 
have been destroyed by the compliant Gods in 
answer to the masters' prayers ; jn mrt^p anrl^a ity 
ajike we ask for things that will be our ruin . Many a 
man has met death from the rushing flood of his own 
eloquence ; others from the strength and wondrous 
thews in which they have trusted. More still have 
been r uined by money too carefully amazed, and by 
fort unes that surpass all patrimonie s by as much as the 
British whale exceeds the dolphin. It was for this 
that in the dire days Nero ordered Longinus 2 and 
the great gardens of the over-wealthy Seneca 3 to be 
put under siege ; for this was it that the noble Palace 
of the Laterani 4 was beset by an entire cohort ; it is 
but seldom that soldiers find their way into a garret ! 

- A famous lawyer banished by Nero. 

3 Forced by Nero to commit suicide. 

4 Plautius Lateranus was put to death by Nero for joining 
in Piso'a conspiracy, a.d. 63. 




pauca licet portes argenti vascula puri 
nocte iter ingressus, gladium contumque timebis 
et motae ad lunam trepidabis harundinis umbram : 
cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator. 

Prima fere vota et cunctis notissima templis 
divitiae, crescant ut opes, ut maxima toto 
nostra sit area foro. sed nulla aconita bibuntur 25 
fictilibus : tunc ilia time, cum pocula sumes 
gemmata et lato Setinum ardebit in auro. 
iamne igitur laudas quod de sapientibus alter 
ridebat, quotiens de limine moverat unum 
protuleratque pedem, flebat contrarius auctor ? 
sed facilis cuivis rigidi censura cachinm : 
mirandum est unde ille oculis suflFecerit umor. 
perpetuo risu pulmonem agitare solebat 
Democritus, quamquam non essent urbibus illis 
praetextae trabeae fasces lectica tribunal ; 
quid si vidisset praetorem curribus altis 
extantem et medii sublimem pulvere circi 
in tunica Iovis et pictae Sarrana ferentem 
ex umeris aulaea togae magnaeque coronae 
tantum orbem, quanto cervix non sufficit ulla? 
quippe tenet sudans hanc publicus et, sibi consul 
ne placeat, curru servus portatur eodem. 
da nunc et volucrem, sceptro quae surgit eburno, 
illinc comicines, hinc praecedentia longi 
agminis officia et niveos ad frena Quirites, 

i Democritus of Abdera. 2 Heraclitus of Ephesus. 

s The tunica palmata, embroidered with palm, and the 






Though you carry but few silver vessels with you in 
a night journey, you w ilj_be afraid of the sworcL axid 
cudgelo f a freeboote r" you will tremble at the shadow 
of a reed shaking in the moonlight; but the empty - 
handed traveller will whistle in the robber's face . 
" 2a The foremost of all petition s — the one best 
known to every temple — is for riches and their in - 
crease, th at our money-chest may be the biggest in 
the r/orurn. But you will drink no aconite out of an 
earthenware cup ; you may dread it when a jewelled 
cup is offered you, or when Setine wine sparkles in a 
golden bowl. Then will you not commend the two 
wise men, one of whom 1 would laugh while the oppo- 
site sage 2 would weep every time he set a foot out- 
side the door ? J T. o_eondemn bv a cutting laugh come s 
readily to us all ; the wonder is how the other sage's 
eyes were supplied with all that water. The sides ot 
Democritus shook with unceasing laughter, although 
in the cities of his day there were no purple-bordered 
or purple-striped robes, no fasces, no palanquins, no 
tribunals. What if he had seen the Praetor uplifted 
in his lofty car amid the dust of the Circus, attired in 
the tunic 3 of Jove, hitching an embroidered Tyrian 
toga 3 on to his shoulders, and carrying a crown so 
big that no neck could bear the weight of it ? For 
a public slave is sweating under the burden ; and 
that the Consul may not fancy himself overmuch, 
the slave rides in the same chariot with his 
master. Add to all this the bird that is perched 
on his ivory staff; on this side the horn-blowers, on 
that the duteous clients preceding him in long array, 
with white-robed Roman citizens, whose friendship 

toga picla, with gold, were triumphal garments, described by 
Livy as Iovis optimi maximi ornatus (xx. 7). 

o 2 


defossa in loculos quos sportula fecit amicos. 
tunc quoque materiam risus invenit ad omnis 
occursus hominum, cuius prudentia monstrat 
summos posse viros et magna exempla daturos 
vervecum in patvia crassoque sub aere nasci. 50 

ridebat cuvas nee non et gaudia vulgi, 
interdum et lacrimas, cum Fortunae ipse minaci 
mandaret laqueum mediumque ostenderet unguem. 

Ei-p-o supervacua aut quae x perniciosa petuntur 
propter quae fas est genua incerare deorum ! 55 
quosdam praecipitat subiecta potentia magnae 
invidiae, mergit longa atque insignis honorum 
pagina. descendunt statuae vestemque sequuntur, 
ipsas deinde rotas bigarum inpacta securis 
caedit et inmeritis franguntur crura caballis ; 60 
iam strident ignes, iam follibus atque caminis 
ardet adoratum populo caput et crepat ingens 
Seianus, deinde ex facie toto orbe secunda 
fiunt urceoli pelves sartago matellae. 2 
pone domi laurus, due in Capitolia magnum 65 
cretatumque bovem ! Seianus ducitur unco 
spectandus, gaudent omnes : " quae labra, quis illi 
vultus erat ! numquam, si quid milii credis, amavi 
hunc bominem. sed quo cecidit sub crimine ? 
i quae is a conj. by Blich. (1893), the space being blank 
in tbe MSS. aut ne perniciosa petantur Lach. Housm. has 
a mark of interrogation after petuntur. As the text stands, 
sunt must be understood after quae. Owen conj. prope. 
2 matellae P : patellae i//. 

~~ i In i 95-6 foil, the sportula (properly a basket) is spoken 
of as a meal actually carried away by the clients. The 



has been gained by the dinner-dole snugly lying in 
their purses, 1 marching at his bridle-rein. Even then 
the philosopher found food for laughter at every 
meeting with his kind : his wisdom shows us that men 
■QJL hiffh distinction and destined to set great examples' 
maybe"born in a dullard.air, and in the land of mutton - 
heads. 2 He laughed at the troubles, ay and at the 
pleasures, of the crowd, sometimes too at their tears, 
while for himself he would bid frowning fortune go 
hang, and point at her the finger of derision. 

54 Thus it is that the jhings for which we pr ay, 
and for which it is right and proper to load the 
knees of the Gods with wax, _are either profitless o r 
pernicious ! ^Some men are hurled headlong by ov er- 
great power and the envy to which it exposesthem : 
they are wrecked by the long and illustrious roll of 
their honours : down come their statues, obedient to 
the rope ; the axe hews in pieces their chariot wheels 
and the legs of the unoffending horses. And now 
the flames are hissing, and amid the roar of furnace 
and of bellows the head of the mighty Sejanus, 3 
the darling of the mob, is burning and crackling, 
and from that face, which was but lately second 
in the entire world, are being fashioned pipkins, 
pitchers, frying-pans and slop-pails! Up with the 
laurel-wreaths over your doors ! Lead forth a grand 
chalked bull to the Capitol ! Sejanus is being dragged 
along by a hook, as a show and joy to all ! « What 
a lip the fellow had ! What a face ! " — « Believe me, 
I never liked the man ! " — " But on what charge was 

present passage refers to the later practice which substituted 
a sum of 100 quadrantes (4 sesterces) for the meal in kind. 

2 Abdera, in Thrace, the birthplace of Democritus, had 
the reputation of being a breeder of thick-heads. 

8 The upstart favourite of Tiberius. 



delator ? quibus indicibus, quo teste probavit ? " 70 
" nil horum ; verbosa et grandis epistula venit 
a Capreis." " bene habet, nil plus interrogo." 

Sed quid 

turba Remi ? sequitur fortunara ut semper et odit 
damnatos. idem populus/si Nortia Tusco 
favisset, si oppressa foret secura senectus 75 

principis, hac ipsa Seianum dicererllora 
Augustum. iam pridem, ex quo suffragia nulli 
vendimus, effudit curas ; nam qui dabat olim 
imperium fasces legiones omnia, nunc se 
continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat, 80 

panem et circenses. 

" Perituros audio multos." 
"nil dubium, magna est fornacula." " pallidulus mi 
Bruttidius meus ad Martis fuit obvius aram ; 
quam timeo, victus ne poenas exigat Aiax, 
ut male defensus." "curramus praecipites et 85 
dum iacet in ripa, calcemus Caesaris hostem." 
" sed videant servi, ne quis neget et pavidum in ius 
cervice obstricta dominum trahat." 

Hi sermones 

tunc de Seiano, secreta haec murmura vulgi. 

visne salutari sicut Seianus, habere 90 

1 Tiberius was living in grim solitude in his rock fortress 
on the island of Capreae when he sent to the Senate the 
famous letter -the verbosa et grandis epistola— which 
hurried Sejanus to his doom on the 18th of October, 
A D. 29. (The passage in Tacitus which described the whole 
event is unfortunately lost; but the fine account of Dion 
Cassius is given in my Annals of Tacitus, vol. i. pp. 341-353 — 
G. G. R.). 


he condemned ? Who informed against him ? What 
was the evidence, who the witnesses, who made good 
the case?" — "Nothing of the sort; a great and 
wordy letter came from Capri." J — " Good ; I ask no 

72 And what does the mob of Remus say ? It 
follows fortune, as it always does, and rails against 
the condemned. That same rabble, if Nortia had 
smiled upon the Etruscan, 2 if the aged Emperor had 
been struck down unawares, would in that very hour 
have conferred upon Sejanus the title of Augustus. 
Now that no one buys our votes, the public has long 
since cast off its cares ; the people that once_ _be- 
stowed commands, c o nsulships, legions and all else , 
now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just tw o_ 
things — Bread and (jame sj_ 

sf" 1 hear that many~are to perish." — " No doubt 
of it; there is a big furnace ready." — "My friend 
Brutidius 3 looked a trifle pale when I met him at 
the Altar of Mars. ) I tremble lest the defeated 
Ajax should take vengeance for having been so ill- 
defended." 4 — " Let us rush headlong and trample 
on Caesar's enemy, while he lies upon the bank !" — 
"Ay, and letj)ur_slaves see us, that none bear witness 
against us, and drag their trembling master into 
court with a halter round his neck." 

68 Such was the talk at the moment about Sejanus ; 
such were the mutterings of the crowd. And would 
you like to be courted like Sejanus ? To be as rich 

2 Sejanus was a native of Volsinii in Elruria ; Nortia was 
the Etruscan Goddess ofJFortune. 

8 A famous orator. 

4 Apparently Ajax here stands for Tiberius, who, it is 
thought, may revenge himself by punishing those who have 
not sufficiently guarded his person. 



tantundem, atque illi summas donare curules, 

ilium exercitibus praeponere, tutor haberi 

principis angusta * Caprearum in rupe sedentis 

cum grege Chaldaeo ? vis certe pila cohortes 

egregios equites et castra domestica; quidni 95 

haec cupias ? et qui nolunt occidere quemquam, 

posse volunt. sed quae praeclara et prospera tanti, 

ut rebus laetis par sit mensura malorum ? 

huius qui trahitur praetextam sumere mavis, 

an Fidenarum Gabiorumque esse potestas 100 

et de mensura ius dicere, vasa minora 

frangere pannosus vacuis aedilis Vlubris ? 

ergo quid optandum foret ignorasse fateris 

Seianum ; nam qui nimios optabat honores 

et nimias poscebat~5pes~ numerosa pai-abat 105 

exceTsae turris tabulata, unde altior esset 

casus et inpulsae praeceps inmane ruinae. 

quid Crassos, quid Pompeios evertit et ilium, 

ad sua qui domitos deduxit flagra Quirites ? 

summus nempe locus nulla non arte petitus, 110 

magnaque numinibus vota exaudita malignis. 

ad generum Cereris sine caede ac vulnere pauci 

descendunt reges et sicca morte tyi'anni. 

Eloquium ac famam Demosthenis aut Ciceronis 
incipit optare et totis quinquatribus optat 115 

quisquis adhuc uno parcam 2 colit asse Minervam, 

1 angusta 4-Biich. (1910) Housm.: augusta PABiich. (1893). 

2 parcam P : partam i|/. 

1 The highest and richest class of Equites were called 
Equites Illustres or Splendidi. 



as he was ? To bestow on one man the ivory chairs 
of office, appoint another to the command of armies, 
and be counted guardian of a Prince seated on the 
narrow ledge of Capri with his herd of Chaldaean 
astrologers ? You would like, no doubt, to have Cen- 
turions, Cohorts, and Illustrious x Knights at your call, 
and to possess a camp of your own ? Why should you 
not? E ven th ose who don't want to kill anybody 
would Tike to have the power to do it. But what gran - 
j Jgur, what nigh fo rtune, are worth the having if th e 
joy is n verbalancecTby the calamities they br ing with 
them ? Would you rather choose to wear the bordered 
robe of the man now being dragged along the streets, 
or to be a magnate at Fidenae or Gabii, adjudicating 
upon weights, or smashing vessels of short measure, 
as a thread-bare Aedile at deserted Ulubrae?*""' You 
admit, then, that Sejanus did no>-know what things 
were to be desired ; for in coveting excessive honours, 
and seeking excessive wealth, he was but building 
up the many stories of a lofty tower whence the fall 
would be the greater, and the crash of headlong 
ruin more terrific. What was it that overthrew the 
Crassi, and' the Pompeii, and him who brought the 
conquered Quirites under his lash ? 3 What but lust 
for the highest place pursued by every kind of 
means ? What but ambitious prayers granted by un- 
kindly Gods ? Few indeed are the kings who go down 
to Ceres' son-in-law i save by sword and slaughter — 
few the tyrants that perish by a bloodless death ! 

114 Every schoolboy who worships Minerva with a 
modest penny fee, attended by a slave to guard his 
little satchel, prays all through his holidays for elo- 

2 Fidenae, Gabii, Ulubrae, email and deserted towns in 
Latium. B Caesar. 4 Pluto. 



quem sequitur custos angustae vernula capsae. 

eloquio sed uterque perit orator, utruraque 

largus et exundans leto dedit ingenii fons. 

ingenio raanus est et cervix caesa, nee umquam 120 

sanguine causidici maduerunt rostra pusilli. 

" o fortunatam natam me consule Romam " : l 

Antoni gladios potuit contemnere, si sic 

omnia dixisset. ridenda poemata malo 

quam te, conspicuae divina Philippica famae, 125 

volveris a prima quae proxima. saevus et ilium 

exitus eripuit, quem mirabantur Athenae 

torrentem et pleni moderantem frena theatri. 

dis ille adversis genitus fatoque sinistra, 

quem pater ardentis massae fuligine lippus 130 

a carbone et forcipibus gladiosque paranti 

mcude et luteo Vulcano ad rhetora misit. 

Bellorum exuviae, truncis adfixa tropaeis 
lorica et fracta de casside buccula pendens 
et curtum temone iugum victaeque triremis 135 

aplustre et summo tristis captivus in arcu 
humanis maiora bonis creduntur. ad hoc se 
Romanus Graiusque et barbarus induperator 
erexit, causas discriminis atque laboris 
inde habuit ; tanto maior famae sitis est quam 140 
virtutis. quis enim virtutem amplectitur ipsam, 

1 This line is taken from the poem (De suo Consulatu) 
which Cicero wrote to glorify the events of his Consulship 
To the many who are not gifted with the divine faculty of 
poesy it may he a consolation to know that a writer of the 
most splendid prose could be guilty of such a rubbishy line as 
that here quoted. 



quence, for the fame of a Cicero or a Demosthenes. 
X gt it was eloquence that brought both pjalflcs *f> 
their death ; each perished by the copious and over- 
flowing torrent of his own genius. It was his genius 
that cut off the hand, and severed the neck, of 
Cicero ; never yet did futile pleader stain the rostra 
with his blood ! 

" happy Fate for the Roman State 
Was the date of my great Consulate !" 

Had Cicero always spoken thus, he might have 
laughed at the swords of Antony. Better verses 
meet only for contempt than thou, O famous and 
divine Philippic, that comest out second on the roll ! 
Terrible, too, was the death of him whom Athens 
loved to hear sweeping along and holding in check 
the crowded theatre. Unfriendly were the Gods, 
and evil the star, under whom was born the man 
whom his father, blear-eyed with the soot of glow- 
ing ore, sent away from the coal, the pincers and 
the sword-fashioning anvil of grimy Vulcan, 1 to study 
the art of the rhetorician ! 

133 The spoils of war and trophies fastened upon 
stumps — a breast-plate, a cheek-strap hanging from 
a broken helmet, a yoke shorn of its pole, the flag- 
staff of a captured galley, or a captive sorrowing 
on a triumphal arch — such things are deemed glories 
too great for man ; these are the prizes for which 
every General strives, be he Greek, Roman, or bar- 
barian ; it is for these that he endures toil and peril : 
so much greate r is the thirst f or glory than for virtue ! 
For who would embrace virtue herself if you stripped 

1 Demosthenes' father, of the same name, was a blacksmith 
— or at least a manufacturer of swords. 



praemia si tollas ? patriam tamen obruit olim 
gloria paucorum et laudis titulique cupido 
haesuri saxis cinerum custodibus, ad quae 
discutienda valent sterilis mala robora fici, 145 

quandoquidem data sunt ipsis quoque fata sepulcris. 

Expende Hannibalem ; quot libras in duce summo 
invenies ? hie est, quern non capit Africa Mauro 
percussa oceano Niloque admota tepenti, 
rursus ad Aethiopum populos aliosque * ele- 

phantos ! 150 

additur impeviis Hispania, Pyrenaeum 
transilit ; opposuit natura Alpemque nivemque : 
diducit scopulos et montem rumpit aceto. 
iam tenet Italiam, tamen ultra pergere tendit : 
" acti," 2 inquit, " nihil est, nisi Poeno milite 

portas 155 

frangimus et media vexillum pono Subura." 
o qualis faeies et quali digna tabella, 
cum Gaetula ducem portaret belua luscum ! 
exitus ergo quis est ? o gloria, vincitur idem 
nempe et in exilium praeceps fugit atque ibi 

magnus 160 

mh'andusque cliens sedet ad praetoria regis, 
donee Bithyno libeat vigilare tyranno. 
finem animae, quae res humanas miscuit olim, 
non gladii, non saxa dabunt nee tela, sed ille 
Cannarum vindex et tanti sanguinis ultor 165 

anulus. i demens et saevas curre per Alpes, 
ut pueris placeas et declamatio fias ! 

1 aliosque \p : altosque PA. 

2 acti ^Housm. Biich. (1910) : actum PT Biich. (1893). 



her of her rewards ? Yet full oft has a land been 
destroyed by the vainglory of a few, by the lust for 
honour and for a title that shall cling to the stones 
that guard their ashes — stones which may be rent 
asunder by the rude strength of the barren fig-tree, 
seeing that even sepulchres have their doom assigned 
to them ! 

147 Put Hannibal into the scales ; how many pounds' 
weight will you find in that greatest of commanders? 
This is the man for whom Africa was all too small —  
a land beaten by the Moorish sea and stretching to 
the steaming Nile, and then, again, to the tribes ot 
Aethiopia and a new race of Elephants ! Spain is 
added to his dominions : he overleaps the Pyrenees ; 
Nature throws in his way Alps and snow : he splits 
the rocks asunder, and breaks up the mountain-side 
with vinegar ! And now Italy is in his grasp, but 
still on he presses: "Nought is accomplished," he 
cries, "until my Punic host breaks down the city 
gates, and I plant my standard in the midst of the 
Subura ! " O what a sight was that ! What a picture 
it would make, the one-eyed General riding on the 
Gaetulian monster ! What then was his end ? Alas 
for glory ! A conquered man, he flees headlong into 
exile, and there he sits, a mighty and marvellous 
suppliant, in the King's antechamber, until it please 
his Bithynian Majesty l to awake ! No sword, no 
stone, no javelin shall end the life which once 
wrought havoc throughout the world : that little ring 2 
shall avenge Cannae and all those seas of blood. 
On ! on ! thou madman, and race over the wintry 
Alps, that thou mayest be the delight of schoolboys 
and supply declaimers with a theme ! 

1 Prusias L, king of Bithynia. 2 Containing poison. 



Unus Pellaeo iuveni non sufficit orbis ; 
aestuat infelix angusto limite mundi 
ut Gyarae clausus scopulis parvaque Seripho ; 170 
cum tamen a figulis munitam intraverit urbem, 
sarcophago contentus erit. mors sola fatetur 
quantula sint hominum corpuscula. creditur olim 
velificatus Atlios et quidquid Graecia mendax 
audet in historia, constratum classibus isdem 175 
suppositumque rotis solidum mare, credimus altos 
defecisse amnes epotaque flumina Medo 
prandente et madidis cantat quae Sostratus alis ; 
ille tamen qualis rediit Salamine relicta, 
in Corum atque Eurum solitus saevire flagellis 180 
barbarus Aeolio numquam hoc in carcere passos, 
ipsum conpedibus qui vinxerat Ennosigaeum : 
mitius id sane, quod non et stigmate dignum 
credidit; huic quisquam vellet servire deorum? 
sed qualis rediit? nempe una nave, cruentis 185 

fluctibus ac tarda per densa cadavera prora. 
has totiens optata exegit gloria poenas. 

« Da spatium vitae, multos da, Iuppiter, annos " : 
hoc recto vultu, solum hoc, et pallidus optas. 
sed quam continuis et quantis longa senectus 190 
plena malis! deformem et taetrum ante omnia 

dissimilemque sui, deformem pro cute pellem 

i Alexander the Great, b. at Pella B.C. 356, &. at Babylon 
B.C. 323. 


168 One globe is all too little for the youth of 
Pella ; x he chafes uneasily within the narrow limits 
of the world, as though he were cooped up within 
the rocks of Gyara or the diminutive Seriphos ; but 
yet when once he shall have entered the city forti- 
fied by the potter's art, 2 a sarcophagus will suffice 
him ! Death alone proclaims how small are our poo r 
Jiu man bodies ! We Have heard how ships once 
sailed through Mount Athos, and all the lying tales 
of Grecian history ; how the sea was paved by those 
self-same ships, and gave solid support to chariot- 
wheels ; how deep rivers failed, and whole streams 
were drunk dry when the Persian breakfasted, with 
all the fables of which Sostratus 3 sings with reeking 
pinions. But in what plight did that king 4 flee from 
Salamis ? he that had been wont to inflict barbaric 
stripes upon the winds Corus and Eurus — never 
treated thus in their Aeolian prison-house— he who 
had bound the Earth-shaker himself with chains, 
deeming it clemency, forsooth, not to think him 
worthy of a branding also : what god, indeed, would 
be willing to serve such a master ? — in what plight did 
he return ? Why, in a single ship ; on blood-stained 
waves, the prow slowly forcing her way through 
waters thick with corpses ! Such was the penalty 
exacted for that long-desired glory ! 

18 8 Give me lengt h of days, give me many year s. 
O Jhpiter! S"e h is" your One and""only prayer u in 
days of strength or of sickness ; yet- ^ nw g rpg "*, how 
unceasing, are the miseries of old age ! Look first 
at the misshapen and ungainly face, so unlike its , 
former self: see the unsightly hide that serves for 

2 The famous walls of Babylon were built of brick. 
8 An unknown poet. * Xerxes. 



pendentisque genas et talis aspice rugas 
quales, umbriferos ubi pandit Thabraca saltus, 
in vetula scalpit iam mater simia bucca. 195 

plurima sunt iuvenum discrimina ; pulchrior ille 
hoc atque ille 1 alio, multum hie robustior illo : 
una senum facies. cum voce trementia membra 
et iam leve caput madidique infantia nasi, 
frangendus misero gingiva panis inermi ; 200 

usque adeo gravis uxori natisque sibique, 
ut captatori moveat fastidia Cosso. 
non eadem vini atque cibi torpente palato 
' gaudia. nam coitus iam longa oblivio, vel si 
coneris, iacet exiguus cum ramice nervus 205 

et quamvis tota palpetur nocte, iacebit. 
anne aliquid sperare potest haec inguinis aegri 
canities ? quid quod merito suspecta libido est 
quae venerem adfectat sine viribus ? 

Aspice partis 
nunc damnum alterius. nam quae cantante 

sit licet eximius, citharoedo sive Seleuco 
et quibus aurata mos est fulgere lacerna ? 
quid refert, magni sedeat qua parte theatri 
qui vix cornicines exaudiet atque tubarum 
concentus ? clamore opus est, ut sentiat auris 215 
quern dicat venisse puer, quot nuntiet boras. 

Praeterea minimus gelido iam in corpore sanguis 
febre calet sola, circumsilit agmine facto 
morborum omne genus, quorum si nomina quaeras, 
promptius expediam quot amaverit Oppia moe- 

1 chos, 22 ° 

quot Themison aegros autumno Occident uno, 
quot Basilus socios, quot circumscripserit Hirrus 

1 ille ij/ 5 om. by PO. Housm. conj. ore,. 


skin ; see the pendulous cheeks and the wrinkles like 
those which a matron baboon carves upon her aged 
jaws in the shaded glades of Thabraca. 1 The young 
men differ in various ways : this man is handsomer 
than that, and he than another ; one is stronger 
than another: but old men all look nlile Then- 
voices are as shaky as their limbs, their heads without 
hair, their noses drivelling as in childhood. Theii 
bread, poor wretches, has to be munched by tooth- 
less gums; ^so offens i ve do they become to th en- 
wives, their children"and themselves, that even the 
legacy-hunter, Cossus, turns from them in disgust. 
Their sluggish palate takes joy in wine or food no 
longer, and all pleasures of the flesh have, bppn lon g 
ago forgotten. . . . 

209 And now consider the loss of another sens e : 
what joy has the old man in song, however famous 
be the singer? what joy in the harping of Seleucus 
himself, or of those who shine resplendent in gold- 
embroidered robes ? What matters it in what part 
of the great theatre he sits when he can scarce hear 
the horns and trumpets when they all blow together ? 
The slave who announces a visitor, or tells the time ot 
day, must needs shout in his ear if he is to be heard. 
217 Besides all this ,J;he little blood in his now chilly 
frame is never warm except with fever; diseases of 
every kind dance aiumid him in a bo3y ;'i'f you ask 
of me their names, 1 could more readily tell you the 
number of Oppia's paramours, how many patients 
Themison killed in one season, how many partners 
1 A town in Numidia. 



pupillos ; quot longa viros exorbeat uno 
Maura die, quot discipulos inclinet Hamillus ; / 
percurram citius quot villas possideat nunc • 225 
quo tondente gravis iuveni mihi barba sonabat. 
ille umero, hie lumbis, hie coxa debilis ; ambos 
perdidit ille oculos et luscis invidet ; huius 
pallida labra cibum accipiunt digitis alienis, 
ipse ad conspectum cenae diducere rictum 230 

suetus hiat tantum ceu pullus hirundinis, ad quern 
ore volat pleno rnater ieiuna. sed omni 
membrorum damno maior dementia, quae nee 
nomina servorum nee vultum agnoscit amici 
cum quo praeterita cenavit nocte, nee illos 235 

quos genuit, quos eduxit. nam codice saevo 
heredes vetat esse suos, bona tota feruntur 
ad Phialen ; tantum artificis valet halitus oris 
quod steterat multis in career e fornicis anr-is. 

Ut vigeant sensus animi, ducenda tamen sunt 240 
funera natorum, rogus aspiciendus amatae 
coniugis et fratris plenaeque sororibus urnae. 
haec data poena diu viventibus, ut renovata 
semper clade domus multis in luctibus inque 
perpetuo maerore et nigra veste senescant. 245 

rex Pylius, magno si quicquam credis Homero, 
exemplum vitae fuit a cornice secundae. 
felix nimirum, qui tot per saecula mortem 
distulit atque suos iam dextra conputat annos, 

i Referring to some barber who had made money, and 
was obnoxious to Juvenal as a rich parvenu. 
2 Nestor. 



were defrauded by Basilus, how many wards cor- 
rupted by HirniSj how many lovers tall Maura wears 
out in a single season ; I could sooner run over the 
number of villas now belonging to the barber under 
whose razor my stiff youthful beard used to grate. 1 
One suffers in the shoulder, another in the loins, 
a third in the hip ; another has lost both eyes, and 
envies those who have one ; another takes food into 
his pallid lips from someone else's fingers, while he 
whose jaws used to fly open at the sight of his dinner, 
now only gapes like the young of a swallow whose 
fasting mother flies to him with well-laden beak. 
BuJLjKQrs e than any loss of limh is Hie ffl j)ir. g wi^d 
which forgets the names of slaves, and cannot re- 
cognise the face of the old friend who dined with 
him last night, nor those of the children whom he 
has begotten and brought up. For by a cruel will 
he cuts off his own flesh and blood and leaves all his 
estate to Phial e — so potent was the breath of that 
alluring mouth which had plied its trade for so many 
years in her narrow archway. 

240 And though the powers of his mind be stron g 
as ever, ye j^jnust he carry forth his sons to buria l ; 
hemust behold the luneral pyres of his beloved wife 
and his brothers, and urns filled with the ashes of his 
sisters. Such are the penalt ies nf the ]n-na- ljy^-- h*. 
* i ppr J" 1 "™^ nfi-"' "wlamit.y befall liip bn n s Pj he Ijy eQ 
in a wo rld of sorrow, he grows old amid cont inual 
lamentation and in the garb of wo e. If we can 
believe mighty Homer, the King of Pylos 2 was 
an example of long life second only to the crow ; 
happy forsooth in this that he had put off death for 
so many generations, and had so often quaffed the 
new-made wine, counting now his years upon his 

p 2 


quique novum totiens mustum bibit. oro, V*™m^ 

attendas quantum de legibus ipse queratur 
fatorum et nimio de stamine, cum videt acris 
Antilochi barbam ardentem, cum quaerit ab omm 
quisquis adest socius/ cur baec in tempora duret 
quod facinus Jignum tarn longo admisent aeyo. 255 
haec eadem Peleus, raptum cum luget Achillem, 
atque alius cui fas Ithacum lugere natantem. 
Tncolumi Troia Priamus venisset ad umbras 
Assaraci magnis sollemnibus Hectare funus 
portante ac reliquis fratrum cervicibus inter 2W 

Iliadum lacrimas, ut primes edere planctus 
Cassandra inciperet scissaque Polyxena palla, 
si foret extinctus diverso tempore, quo non 
coeperat audaces Paris aedificare carinas, 
longa dies igitur quid contulit ? omnia vidit ^bo 

eversa et flammis Asiam ferroque cadentem. 
tunc miles tremulus posita tulit anna tiara 
et ruit ante aram summi Iovis ut vetulus bos, 
qui domini cultris tenue et miserabile collum 
praebet ab in grato iam fastiditus aratro. ^ / u 

exitus ille utcumque hominis, sed torva canino 
latravit rictu quae post hunc vixerat uxor. 

Festino ad nostros et regem transeo 1 onti 
et Croesum, quem vox iusti facunda Soloms 
respicere ad longae iussit spatia ultima vitae. 2 i o 

exilium et career Minturnarumque paludes 
et mendicatus victa Carthagine pams 

i socins P : socio <J< and Housm. 

i i e bad begun to count by hundreds. 

2 Nestor's son. s ardentem, i.e. on the pyre. 

i Laertes, father of Ulysses. 



right hand. 1 But mark for a moment, I beg, how 
he bewails the decrees of fate and his too-long thread 
of life, when he beholds the beard of his brave 
Antilochus 2 in the flames, 3 and asks of every friend 
around him why he has lived so long, what crime 
he has commit ted to deserve such le ngth of day s. 
Thus did Peleus also mourn when he lost Achilles ; 
and so that other father 4 who had to bewail the sea- 
roving Ithacan. Had Priam perished at some other 
time, before Paris began to build his audacious ships, 
he would have gone down to the shade of Assaracus 5 
when Troy was still standing, and with regal pomp ; 
his body would have been borne on the shoulders of 
Hector and his brothers amid the tears of Ilion's 
daughters, and the rending of Polyxena's 6 gar- 
ments : Cassandra 6 would have led the cries of woe. 
What boon did length of days bring to him ? He 
saw everything in ruins, and Asia perishing by fire 
and the sword. Laying aside his tiara, and arming 
himself, he fell, a trembling soldier, before the altar 
of Almighty Jove, like an aged ox discarded by the 
thankless plough who offers his poor lean neck to his 
master's knife. Priam's death was at least that of 
a human being ; but his wife 7 lived on to open her 
mouth with the savage barking of a dog. 

273 I hasten to our own countrymen, passing by 
the king of Pontus 8 and Croesus, 9 who was bidden 
by the wise and eloquent Solon to look to the last 
lap of a long life. It was this that brought Marius 
to exile and to prison, it took him to the swamps 
of Minturnae and made him beg his bread in the 

5 Son of Tros, from whom the Trojans took their name. 

6 Daughters of Priam. 7 Hecuba. 

8 Mithridates, 9 The wealthy king of Lydia. 



hinc causas habuere ; quid illo cive tulisset 

natura in terris, quid Roma beatius umquam, 

si circuniducto captivorum agmine et omni 280 

bellorum pompa animam exhalasset opimam, 

cum de Teutonico vellet descendere curru ? 

provida Pompeio dederat Campania febres 

optandas, sed multae urbes et publica vota 

vicevunt : igitur Fortuna ipsius et urbis 285 

servatum victo caput abstulit. hoc cruciatu 

Lentulus, hac poena caruit ceciditque Cethegus 

integer, et iacuit Catilina cadavere toto. 

Formam optat modico pueris, maiore puellis 
murmure, cum Veneris fanum videt, anxia mater 290 
usque ad delicias votorum. " cur tamen/' inquit, 
" corripias ? pulchra gaudet Latona Diana." 
sed vetat optari faciem Lucretia qualem 
ipsa habuit, cuperet Rutilae Verginia gibbum 
accipere atque suum Rutilae dare, filius autem 295 
corporis egregii miseros trepidosque parentes 
semper habet ; rara est adeo concord ia formae 
atque pudicitiae. sanctos licet horrida mores 
tradiderit domus ac veteres imitata Sabinos, 
praeterea castum ingenium vultumque modesto 300 
sanguine ferventem tribuat natura benigna 
larga manu (quid enim puero conferre potest plus 
custody et cura natura potentior omni ?), 
non licet esse viro ; nam prodiga corruptoris 
improbitas ipsos audet temptare parentes : 305 

1 i.e. after the battle of Campi Raudii, near Vercellae, in 

BC - 101. ... . . . _ A 

2 When Pompey lay dangerously ill of a fever in B.C. 5u 
many of the towns of Italy offered vows and sacrifices for his 



Carthage that he had conquered. What could Nature 
ever in all the world have produced more glorious 
than him, if after parading his troops of captives 
with all the pomp of war he had breathed forth his 
soul in glory as he was about to step down from his 
Teutonic car ? x Kindly Campania gave to Pompey 
a fever, which he might have prayed for as a boon 2 ; 
but the public prayers of all those cities gained the 
day ; so his own fortune and that of Rome preserved 
him to be vanquished and to lose his head. No such 
cruel thing befell Lentulus 3 ; Cethegus 3 escaped 
such punishment and fell whole ; and Catiline's corpse 
lay unviolated. 

289 When the loving mother passes the temple o f 
Venus, she pra ys in whisper ed breath for her boys — 
more loudly, and enter in g into the most trifling 
. particulars, for her daughters — th ^f, *hpy ™ay lmvp 
beautyT " And why should I not ? " she asks ; " did 
not Latona rejoice in Diana's beauty ? " Yes : but 
Lucretia forbids us to pray for a face like her own ; 
and Verginia would gladly take Rutila's hump and 
give her own fair form to Rutila. A handsome son 
keeps his parents i n constant fear and misery ; _s o 
rarely do mod estyand good looks go together! For 
though his home be strict, and have ta~ught him 
ways as pure as those of the ancient Sabines, and 
though Nature besides with kindly hand have 
lavishly gifted him with a pure mind and a cheek 
mantling with modest blood— and what better thing 
can Nature, more careful, more potent than any 
guardian, bestow upon a youth ? — he will not be 
allowed to become a man. The lavish wicke dness of 
some se.du rpr "' r1 ' 11 tpTV ipt the boy's nwn parents : such 
3 Accomplices in Catiline's conspiracy. 



tanta in muneribus fiducia. nullus ephebum 
deformem saeva castravit in arce tyrannus, 
nee praetextatum rapuit Nero loripedem nee 
strumosum atque utero pariter gibboque tumentem. 

I nunc et iuvenis specie laetare tui, quern 310 

maiora expectant discrimina. fiet adulter 
publicus et poenas metuet quascumque maritis 
iratis x debet, nee erit felicior astro 
Martis, ut in laqueos numquam incidat. exigit autem 
interdum ille dolor plus quam lex ulla dolori 315 

concessit: necat hie ferro, secat ille cruentis 
verberibus, quosdara moechos et mugilis intrat. 
sed tuus Endymion dilectae fiet adulter 
matronae. mox cum dederit Servilia nummos, 
fiet et illius quam non amat, exuet omnem 320 

corporis ornatum : quid enim ulla negaverit udis 
inguinibus, sive est haec Oppia sive Catulla? 
deterior totos habet illic femina mores. 
" sed casto quid forma nOcet ? " quid pi'ofuit immo 
Hippolyto grave propositum, quid Bellorophonti? 325 
erubuit nempe haec ceu fastidita, repulsa, 
nee Stheneboea minus quam Cressa, excanduit, et se 
concussere ambae. mulier saevissima tunc est, 
cum stimulos odio pudor admovet. v 

Elige quidnam 
suadendum esse putes cui nubere Caesaris uxor 330 
destinat ? optimus hie et formosissimus idem 

1 irati PT : exire irati A : exigere irati ip : marili irati 
Biich.Owen : lex irae conj. Housm.: maritis iratis Rigalt 
Biich. (1910). 

1 i.e. however noble the lady may be. 


trust can be placed in money ! No misshapen yout h 
was everiinseved Iv y cruel tyrant in his castle ; never 
did Nero have a bandy-legged or scrofulous favourite, 
or one that was hump-backed or pot-bellied ! 

310 Go to now, you that revel in your son's beauty ; 
think of the deadly perils that lie before him. He 
will become a promiscuous gallant, and have to fear 
all the vpnnrpnnr-p rlnp fn. m 1 t r .»g^ hmbind : ; no 
luckier than Mars, he will not fail to fall into the net. 
And_so nietimes the husband's wrath evaptg greater 
U£ nalties than any law allows : one lover is slain 
by the sword, another bleeds under the lash ; some 
undergo the punishment of the mullet. Your dear 
Endymion will become the gallant of some matron 
whom he loves ; but before long, when Servilia has 
taken him into her pay, he will serve one also whom 
he loves not, and will strip her of all her orna- 
ments ; for what can any woman, be she an Oppia or 
a Catulla, 1 deny to the man who serves her passion ? 
It is on her passion that, a harl woman's whole nature 
centres, "But how does beauty hurt the chaste?" 
you ask. Well, what availed Hippolytus or Bellero- 
phon 2 their firm resolve ? The Cretan lady flared 
up as though repelled with scorn ; no less furious 
was Stheneboea. Both dames lashed themselves into 
fury ; for neve r is woman so savage as when h er 
hatred is goaded on by shame. "- ~~* 

329 And now tell me what counsel you think should 
be given to him s , whom Caesar's wife is minded to 
wed. Best and fairest of a patrician house, the un- 

2 As Mr. Duff puts it, " Hippolytus and Bellerophon are 
flie Josephs of the pagan mythology." 

3 C. Silius, brought to ruin by the passion entertained for 
him by Messalina, wife of Claudius (Tac. Ann. xi. 12 and 
26 foil.). 



gentis patriciae rapitur miser extinguendus 
Messalinae oculis ; dudum sedet ilia parato 
flammeolo Tyriusque palam genialis in hovtis 
sternitur et ritu decies centena dabuntur 335 

antiquo, veniet cum signatoribus auspex. 
haec tu secreta et paucis commissa putabas ? 
non nisi legitime vult nubere. quid placeat die : 
ni parere velis, pereundum erit ante lucernas ; 
si scelus admittas, dabitur mora parvula, dum res 340 
nota urbi et populo contingat principis aurem. 
dedecus ille domus sciet ultimus ; interea tu 
obsequere imperio, si tanti vita dierum 
paucorum. quidquid levius meliusve putaris, 
praebenda est gladio pulchra haec et Candida 
cervix. 345 

Nil ergo optabunt homines ? si consilium vis, 
pei*mittes ipsis expendere numinibus quid 
conveniat nobis rebusque sit utile nostris. 
nam pro iucundis aptissima quaeque dabunt di : 
carior est illis homo quam sibi. nos animorum 350 
inpulsu et caeca magnaque cupidine ducti 
coniugium petimus partumque uxoris ; at illis 
notum qui pueri qualisque futura sit uxor, 
ut tamen et poscas aliquid voveasque sacellis 
exta et candiduli divina tomacula porci, 355 

orand um est ut sit mens Sana in coi-pore sano ; 
fortem posce animum mortis terrore carentem, 
qui spatium vitae extremum inter munera ponat 
naturae, qui ferre queat quoscumque labores, 



happy youth is dragged to destruction by Messalina's 
eyes. She has long been seated ; her bridal veil is 
ready ; the Tyrian nuptial couch is being spread 
openly in the gardens ; a dowry of one million ses- 
terces will be given after the ancient fashion, the 
soothsayer and the witnesses will be there. And you 
thought these things were secret, did you, known 
only to a few? But the lady will not wed save with 
all the due forms. Say what is your resolve : if you 
say nay to her, you will have to perish before the 
lighting of the lamps ; if you perpetrate the crime, 
you will have a brief respite until the affair, known 
already to the city and the people, shall come to the 
Prince's ears ; he will be the last to know of the 
dishonour of his house. Meanwhile, if you value a 
few days of life so highly, obey your orders : what- 
ever you may deem the easier and the better way, 
that fair white neck of yours will have to be offered 
to the sword. 

34 6 Is there noth ing then for which men shal l 
pray? If you ask my counsel, you will leave it t o 
the gods themselves to provide what is good for u s, 
and what will be serviceable for our state ; for, in 
place of what is pipping -, they will give »s wha t. 
is best, Mfin is dearer to them than he is to 
hiniself. Impelled by strong and blind desire, we 
ask for wife and offspring ; but the gods know ot 
what sort the sons,^>f what sort the wife, will be. 
Nevertheless that you may have something to pray 
for, and be able to offer to the shrines entrails and 
presaging sausages from a white porker ^ you shoul d 
pray for a sonnrl minrl in a sound bo dy j tor a stout 
heart that has no tear of dentil, an d "deems length ot 
da ys the least of Nature's gif_ts ; that can endure an y 



nesciat irasci, cupiat nihil et potiores 360 

Herculis aerumnas credat saevosque labores 

et venere et cenis et pluma Sardanapalli. 

monstro quod ipse tibi possis dare ; semita certe 

tranquillae per virtutem patet unica vitae. 

nullum numen babes, si sit prudentia : nos te, 365 

nos facimus, Fortuna, deam caeloque locamus. 


Atticus eximie si cenat, lautus habetur, 
si Rutilus, demens. quid enim maiore cachinno 
excipitur vulgi quam pauper Apicius ? omnis 
convictus, thermae, stationes, omne theatrum 
de Rutilo ; nam dum valida ac iuvenalia membra 5 
sufficiunt galeae dumque ardent 1 sanguine, fertur 
non cogente quidem sed nee prohibente tribuno, 
scripturus leges et regia verba lanistae. 
multos porro vides, quos saepe elusus ad ipsum 
creditor introitum solet expectare macelli, 10 

et quibus in solo vivendi causa palato est. 
egregius cenat meliusque miserrimus horum 
et cito casurus iam perlucente ruina. 
interea gustus elementa per omnia quaerunt 

1 ardenti Pif- : aniens U: ardent conj. Rigalt. 

1 The last king of the Assyrian empire of Nineveh. A 
proverb for luxury. 



kind of toil : that - k nnws neifcJUej auaiJb ma dfiSlfej and 

thinks that the woes and hard labours of Hercules 
are better than the loves and the banquets and the 
down cushions of Sardanapalus. 1 What I commend 
to you, you can give to yourself j for it is assuredly 
through virtue that lies the one and only rnad t.n a 
life of peace. Thou wouldst h a Ye nn rHin'n.ify J O 
Fortune, if we had but wisdom ; it is Ave that make 
a goddess of thee, and place thee, in the skips . 


Extravagance and Simplicity of Living 

If Atticus dines sumptuously, he is thought a fine 
gentleman ; if Rutilus does the same, people say he 
has lost his senses : for at what does the public laugh 
so loudly as at an Apicius 2 reduced to poverty? 
Every dinner table, all the baths, lounging-places 
and theatres have their fling at Rutilus ; for while 
still young, active, and warm-blooded, and fit to wear 
a helmet, he plunges on till he will have to enrol 
himself — not compelled indeed, but not forbidden by 
the Tribune 3 — under the rules and royal mandates 
of a trainer of gladiators. You may see many of these 
gentry being waited for by an oft-eluded creditor at 
the entrance to the meat-market — men whose sole 
reason for living lies in their palate. The greater 
their straits— though the house is ready to fall, and 
the daylight begins to show between the cracks — the 
more luxuriously and daintily do they dine. Mean- 
while they ransack all the elements for new relishes ; 

2 A notorious and wealthy glutton ; sec iv. 23. 

3 i.e. a tribunus plebis, whose permission would be neces- 



numquam animo pretiis opstantibus ; interius si 15 
adtendas, magis ilia iuvant quae pluris emuntur. 
ergo liaut difficile est perituram arcessere summam 
lancibus oppositis vel matris imagine fracta, 
et quadringentis nummis condire gulosum 
fictile ; sic veniunt ad miscellanea ludi. 20 

refert ergo quis haec eadem paret ; in Rutilo nam 
luxuria est, in Ventidio laudabile nomen 
sumhV et a censu famam trahit. 

Ilium ego iure 
despiciam, qui scit quanto sublimior Atlans 
omnibus in Libya sit montibus, hie tamen idem 25 
ignoret quantum ferrata distet ab area 
sacculus. e caelo descendit jvmOl aeavrov 
figendum et memori tractandum pectore, sive 
coniugium quaeras vel sacri in parte senatus 
esse velis ; neque enim loricam poscit Achillis 30 
Thersites, in qua se traducebat Vlixes ; 
ancipitem seu tu magno discrimine causam 
protegere adfectas, te consule, die tibi qui sis, 
orator vehemens an Curtius et Matho buccae. 
noscenda est mensura sui spectandaque rebus 35 

in summis minimisque, etiam cum piscis emetur, 
ne mullum cupias, cum sit tibi gobio tantum 
in loculis. quis enim te deficiente crumina 
et crescente gula manet exitus, aere paterno 
ac rebus mersis in ventrem faenoris atque 40 

argenti gravis et pecorum agrorumque capacem ? 
talibus a dominis post cuncta novissimus exit 

1 sumit PS^ : sumptus Heinrich and Housra. 

1 Referring to bia contest with Ajax for the arms of 



no cost ever stands in their way ; if you look closely 
into it, the greater the price, the greater the pleasure. 
So when they want to raise money to go after the 
rest, they think nothing of pawning their plate, or 
breaking up the image of their mother ; and having 
thus seasoned their gluttonous delf at a cost of four 
hundred sesterces, they come down at last to the 
hotch-potch of the gladiatorial school. It matters 
much therefore who provides the feast ; what is ex- 
travagant in Rutilus, gets a fine name in Ventidius, 
and takes its character from his means. 

23 Rightly do I despise a man who knows how much 
higher Atlas is than all the other mountains of 
Africa, and yet knows not the difference between 
a purse and an iron-bound money-box. The maxim 
"Know thyself" comes down to us from the skies; 
it should be imprinted in the heart, and stored in 
the memory, whether you are looking for a wife, 
or wishing for a seat in the sacred Senate: even 
Thersites never asked for that breastplate of Achilles 
in which Ulysses cut such a sorry figure. 1 If you 
are preparing to conduct a great and difficult cause, 
take counsel of yourself and tell yourself what 
you are — are you a great orator, or just a spouter 
like Curtius and Matho ? Let a man take his own 
measure and have regard to it in things great or 
small, even in the buying of a fish, that he set not 
his heart upon a mullet, when he has only a gudgeon 
in his purse. For if your purse is getting empty 
while your maw is expanding, what will be your 
end when you have sunk your paternal fortune and 
all your belongings in a belly which can hold 
capital and solid silver as well as flocks and lands ? 
With such owners the last thing to go is the ring ; 



anulus, et digito mendicat Pollio nudo. 
non praematuri cineres nee funus acerbum 
luxuriae, sed morte magis metuenda senectus. 45 

Hi plerumque gradus : conducta pecunia Romae 
et coram dominis consumitur ; inde ubi paulum 
nescio quid superest et pallet faenoris auctor, 
qui vertere solum, Baias et ad ostrea currunt. 
cedere namque fovo iam non est deterius quam 50 
Esquilias a ferventi migrare Subura ; 
ille dolor solus patriam fugientibus, ilia 
maestitia est, caruisse anno circensibus uno : 
sanguinis in facie non haeret gutta, morantur 
pauci ridiculum et fugientem ex urbe pudorem. 55 

Experiere hodie numquid pulcherrima dictu, 
Persice, non praestem vitae tibi l moribus et re, 
si laudem siliquas occultus ganeo, pultes 
coram aliis dictem puero, sed in aure placentas. 
nam cum sis conviva mihi promissus, habebis 60 

Euandrum, venies Tirynthius aut minor illo 
hospes, et ipse tamen contingens sanguine caelum, 
alter aquis, alter flammis ad sidera missus, 
fercula nunc audi nullis ornata macellis. 
de Tiburtino veniet pinguissimus agro 
haedulus et toto grege mollior, inscius berbae 
necdum ausus virgas humilis mordere salicti, 
qui plus lactis habet quam sanguinis ; et montani 
i tibi is added by Biich.: P has a blank. 

i Alluding to the entertainment of Hercules by Evander 
(Virg. Am. viii. 359-365). * Aeneas. 



poor Pollio, his finger stripped, has to go a-begging ! 
It is not an early death or an untimely grave that 
extravagance has to dread : old age is more terrible 
to it than death. 

46 The regular stages are these : money is bor- 
rowed in Rome and squandered before the owner's 
eyes; when some little of it is still left, and the 
lender's face grows pale, these gentlemen give leg 
bail, and make off for Baiae and its oyster-beds— for 
in these days people think no more of absconding 
from the Forum than of flitting from the stuffy 
Subura to the Esquiline. One pang, one sorrow only, 
afflicts these exiles, that they must, for one season, 
miss the Circensian games ! No drop of blood lin- 
gers in their cheek : Shame is ridiculed as she flees 
from the city, and few would bid her stay. 

56 To-day, friend Persicus, you will discover 
whether I make good, in deed and in my ways ot 
life, the fair maxims which I preach, or whether, 
while commending beans, I am at heart a glutton: 
openly bidding my slave to bring me porridge, but 
whispering " cheese-cakes " in his ear. For now that 
you have promised to be my guest, you will find in 
me an Evander 1 ; you yourself will be the Tirynthian, 
or the guest less great than he, 2 though he too came 
of blood divine — the one by water, the other boi-ne 
by fire, 3 to the stars. And now hear my feast, which 
no meat-market shall adorn. From my Tiburtine farm 
there will come a plump kid, tenderest of the flock, 
innocent of grass, that has never yet dared to nibble 
the twigs of the dwarf willow, and has more of milk 
in him than blood ; some wild asparagus, gathered 

3 Both heroes were deified ; Hercules met his death by 
burning, Aeneas by drowning. 



asparagi, posito quos legit vilica fuso ; 
grandia praeterea tortoque calentia faeno <0 

ova adsunt ipsis cum matribus, et servatae 
parte anni quales fuerant in vitibus uvae, 
Signinum Syriumque pirum, de corbibus isdem 
aemula Picenis et odoris mala recentis 
nee metuenda tibi, siccatum frigore postquam 75 
autumnum et crudi posuere pericula suci. 
Haec olim nostri iam luxuriosa senatus 
cena fuit ; Curius parvo quae legerat horto 
ipse focis brevibus ponebat holuscula, quae nunc 
squalidus in magna fastidit compede fossor, 80 

qui meminit calidae sapiat quid vulva popinae. 
sicci terga suis rara pendentia crate 
moris erat quondam festis servare diebus 
et natalicium cognatis ponere lardum 
accedente nova, si quam dabat hostia, carne. 85 

cognatorum aliquis titulo ter consulis atque 
castrorum imperiis et dictatoris honore 
functus ad has epulas solito maturius ibat, 
erectum domito referens a monte ligonem. 
cum tremerent autem Fabios durumque Catonem 90 
et Scauros et Fabricium, rigidique 1 severos 
censoris mores etiam collega timeret, 
nemo inter curas et seria duxit habendum, 
qualis in Oceani fluctu testudo nataret, 
clarum Troiugenis factura et nobile fulcrum ; 95 

sed nudo latere et parvis frons aerea lectis 

i rigidique <J>,Housm.: postremo P Bach. 

"i Mafiftis Curius Dentatus, the conqueror of Pyrrhus, type 
of the simple noble Roman of early times. 



by the bailiff's wife when done with her spindle, and 
some lordly eggs, warm in their wisps of hay, to- 
gether with the hens that laid them. There will be 
grapes too, kept half the year, as fresh as when they 
hung upon the tree; pears from Signia and Syria, 
and in the same baskets fresh-smelling apples that 
rival those of Picenum, and of which you need not 
be afraid, seeing that winter's cold has dried up 
their autumnal juice, and removed the perils of 

77 Such were the banquets of our Senate in days 
of old, when already grown luxurious; when Curius, 1 
with his own hands, would lay upon his modest hearth 
the simple herbs he had gathered in his little garden 
— herbs scoffed at nowadays by the dirty ditcher 
who works in chains, and remembers the savour of 
tripe in the reeking cookshop. For feast days, in 
olden times, they would keep a side of dried 
pork, hanging from an open rack, or put before the 
relations a flitch of birthday bacon, with the addition 
of some fresh meat, if there happened to be a sacri- 
fice to supply it. A kinsman who had thrice been 
hailed as Consul, who had commanded armies, and 
filled the office of Dictator, would come home earlier 
than was his wont for such a feast, shouldering the 
spade with which he had been subduing the hill- 
side. For when men quailed before a Fabius or a 
stern Cato, before a Scaurus or a Fabricius — when 
even a Censor might dread the severe verdict of his 
colleague 2 — no one deemed it a matter of grave and 
serious concern what kind of tortoise-shell was swim- 
ming in the waves of Ocean to form a head-rest for 
our Troy-born grandees. Couches in those days were 

2 For the quarrel between the censors, see Livy, xxix. 37. 

C 2 




vile coronati caput ostendebat aselli, 
ad quod lascivi ludebant ruris alumni : 
tales ergo cibi, qualis domus atque supellex. 
Tunc rudis et Graias mirari nescius artes 
urbibus eversis praedarum in parte reperta 
magnorum artificum frangebat pocula miles, 
ut phaleris gauderet equus caelataque cassis 
Romuleae simulacra ferae mansuescere iussae 
imperii fato, geminos sub rupe Quirinos, 
ac nudam effigiem 1 clipeo venientis et hasta 
pendentisque dei perituro ostenderet hosti. 
ponebant igitur Tusco farrata catino : 
argenti quod erat, solis fulgebat in armis. 
omnia tunc, quibus invideas si lividulus sis. 110 

templorum quoque maiestas praesentior, et vox 
nocte fere media mediamque audita per urbem 
litore ab Oceani Gallis venientibus et dis 
officium vatis peragentibus. his monuit nos, 
banc rebus Latiis curam praestare solebat 115 

fictilis et nullo violatus Iuppiter auro. 

Ilia domi natas nostraque ex arbore mensas 
tempora viderunt ; bos lignum stabat ad usus, 
annosam si forte nucem deiecerat Eurus. 
at nunc divitibus cenandi nulla voluptas, 120 

nil rhombus, nil damma sapit, putere videntur 
unguenta atque rosae, latos nisi sustinet orbes 
grande ebur et magno sublimis pardus hiatu 
1 Housm. inserts in before clipeo. 

i i.e. the god Mars. 


small, their sides unadorned : a simple headpiece of 
bronze would display the head of a be-garlanded ass, 
beside which would romp in play the children of the 
village. Thus house and furniture were all in keeping 
with the fare. 

100 The rude soldier of those days had no taste for, 
or knowledge of, Greek art; if allotted cups made 
by great artists as his share in the booty of a cap- 
tured city, he would break them up to provide gay 
trappings for his horse, or to chase a helmet that 
should display to the dying foe an image of the 
Romulean beast bidden by Rome's destiny to grow 
tame, with the twin Quirini beneath a i*ock, and the 
nude effigy of the God * swooping down with spear 
and shield. Their messes of spelt were then served 
on platters of earthenware ; such silver as there was 
glittered only on their arms — all which things you 
may envy if you are at all inclined that way. The 
majesty of the temples also was more near to help 
us ; it was then that was heard through the entire 
city that midnight voice telling how the Gauls were 
advancing from the shores of Ocean, the Gods taking 
on them the part of prophecy. Such were the warn- 
ings of Jupiter, such the care which he bestowed on 
the concerns of Latium when he was made of clay, 
and undefiled by gold. 

117 In those days our tables were home-grown, 
made of our own trees ; for such use was kept some 
aged chestnut blown down perchance by the South- 
western blast. But nowadays a rich man takes no 
pleasure in his dinner — his turbot and his venison 
have no taste, his unguents and his roses no per- 
fume — unless the broad slabs of his dinner-table rest 
upon a ramping, gaping leopard of solid ivory, made 



dentibus ex Mis quos mittit porta Syenes 

et Mauri celeres et Mauro obscurior Indus, 1^5 

et quos deposuit Nabataeo belua saltu 

iam nimios capitique graves, hinc surgit orexis, 

hinc stomacho vires ; nam pes argenteus ilhs, 

anulus in digito quod ferreus. ergo superbum 

convivam caveo, qui me sibi comparat et res 1<50 

despicit exiguas. adeo nulla uncia nobis 

est eboris, nee tessellae nee calculus ex hac 

materia, quin ipsa manubria cultellorum 

ossea. non tamen his ulla umquam obsonia fiunt 

rancidula aut ideo peior gallina secatur. 135 

sed nee structor erit cui cedere debeat omnis 

pergula, discipulus Trypheri doctoris, aput quern 

sumine cum magno lepus atque aper et pygargus 

et Scythicae volucres et phoenicopterus ingens 

et Gaetulus oryx bebeti lautissima ferro 140 

caeditur et tota sonat ulmea cena Subura. 

nee frustum capreae subducere nee latus Afrae 

novit avis noster, tirunculus ac rudis omni 

tempore et exiguae furtis inbutus ofellae. 

plebeios calices et paucis assibus emptos 145 

porriget incultus puer atque a frigore tutus. 

non Phryx aut Lyeius, non a mangone petitus 

quisquam erit et magno 1 : cum posces, posce latme. 

idem habitus cunctis, tonsi rectique capilli 

atque hodie tan turn propter convivia pexi. 150 

pastoris duri hie est films, ille bubulci ; 

i qvisquam erit et magno ALOT : quisquam erit in magno 
PSFGU : qui steterit magno conj. Housm.: in magno si posces 
Biich. (1893) Owen ; id magnum Bitch. (1910). 

» Now Assouan, on the Roman frontier. The phrase 
" portal of Syene" means "the portal consisting of byene, 
Syene itself constituting the portal. 



of the tusks sent to us by the swift-footed Moor from 
the portal of Syene, 1 or by the still duskier Indian 
— or perhaps shed by the monstrous beast in the 
Nabataean 2 forest when too big and too heavy for 
his head. These are the things that give good ap- 
petite and good digestion ; for to these gentlemen 
a table with a leg of silver is like a finger with an 
iron ring. For this reason I will have none of your 
haughty guests to make comparisons between him- 
self and me, and look down upon my humble state. 
So destitute am I of ivory that neither my dice nor 
counters are made of it ; even my knife-handles are 
of bone. Yet are not the viands tainted thereby, 
nor does the pullet cut up any the worse on that 
account. Nor shall I have a carver to whom the 
whole carving-school must bow, a pupil of the 
learned Trypherus, in whose school is cut up, with 
blunt knives, a magnificent feast of hares and sow's 
paunches, of boars and antelopes, of Scythian fowls 
and tall flamingoes and Gaetulian gazelles, until the 
whole Subura rings with the clatter of the elm-wood 
banquet. My raw youngster, untutored all his days, 
has never learnt how to filch a slice of kid or the 
wing of a guinea-fowl, unpractised save in the theft 
of scraps. Cups of common ware, bought for a few 
pence, will be handed round by an unpolished lad, 
clad so as to keep out the cold. No Phrygian or 
Lycian youth, none bought from a dealer at a huge 
price, will you find ; when you want anything, ask for 
it in Latin. They are all dressed alike ; their hair cut 
close and uncui'led, and only combed to-day because 
of the company. One is the son of a hardy shepherd ; 

2 The Nabataei were an Arabian tribe. Bat there are no 
elephants in Arabia. 



suspirat longo non visam tempore matrem, 
et casulum et notos tristis desiderat haedos, 
ingenui vultus puer ingenuique pudoris, 
quales esse decet quos ardens purpura vestit, 155 
nee pupillares defert in balnea raucus 
testiculos, nee vellendas iam praebuit alas, 
crassa nee opposito pavidus tegit inguina guto. 
hie tibi vina dabit diffusa in montibus illis 
a quibus ipse venit, quorum sub vertice lusit ; 160 
[namque una atque eadem est vini patria atque 
Forsitan expectes ut Gaditana canoro 
incipiant prurire choro plausuque probatae 
ad terrain tremulo descendant clune puellae ; 
spectant hoc nuptae iuxta recubante marito, 165 

quod pudeat narrare aliquem praesentibus ipsis, 
inritamentum veneris languentis et acres 
divitis urticae ; maior tamen ista voluptas 
alterius sexus : magis ille extenditur, et mox 
auribus atque oculis concepta urina movetur. 170 

non capit has nugas humilis domus. audiat ille 
testarum crepitus cum verbis, nudum olido stans 
fornice mancipium quibus abstinet, ille fruatur 
vocibus obscaenis omnique libidinis arte, 
qui Lacedaemonium pytismate lubricat orbem ; 175 
namque ibi fortunae veniam damus. alea turpis, 
turpe et adulterium mediocribus : haec eadem illi 
omnia cum faciunt, hilares nitidique vocantur. 
nostra dabunt alios hodie convivia ludos, 
conditor Iliados cantabitur atque Maronis 180 

altisoni dubiam facientia carmina palmam. 
quid refert. tales versus qua voce legantur ? 



another of the cattle-man : he sighs for the mother 
whom he has not seen for so long, and thinks wist- 
fully of the little cottage and the kids he knew so 
well ; a lad of open countenance and simple modesty, 
such as those ought to be who are clothed in glowing 
purple. 1 No noisy frequenter lie of baths, presenting 
his armpits to be cleared of hair, and with only an oil- 
flask to conceal his nudity. He will hand you a wine 
that was bottled on the hills among which he was 
born, and beneath whose tops he played — for wine 
and servant alike have one and the same father- 

162 You may look perhaps for a troop of Spanish 
maidens to win applause by immodest dance and 
song, sinking down with quivering thighs to the 
floor — such sights as brides behold seated beside 
their husbands, though it were a shame to speak of 
such things in their presence. . . . My humble home 
has no place for follies such as these. The clatter 
of castanets, words too foul for the strumpet that 
stands naked in a reeking archway, with all the arts 
and language of lust, may be left to him who spits 
wine upon floors of Lacedaemonian marble ; such 
men we pardon because of their high station. In 
men of moderate position gaming and adultery are 
shameful ; but when those others do these same 
things, they are called gay fellows and fine gentle- 
men. My feast to-day will provide other perform- 
ances than these. The bard of the Iliad will be 
sung, and the lays of the lofty-toned Maro that 
contest the palm with his. What matters it with 
what voice strains like these are read ? 

1 Referring to the purple stripe on the toga praetexta worn 
by all free-born boys. 

2 33 


Sed nunc dilatis averte negotia curis 
et gratam requiem dona tibi, quando licebit 
per totum cessare diem, non faenoris ulla 185 

mentio nee, prima si luce egressa reverti 
nocte solet, tacito bilem tibi contrahat uxor 
umida suspectis referens multicia rugis 
vexatasque comas et vultum auremque calentem. 
protinus ante meum quidquid dolet exue limen, 190 
pone domum et servos et quidquid frangitur illis 
aut perit, ingratos ante omnia pone sodales. 
Interea Megalesiacae spectacula mappae 
Idaeum sollemne colunt, similisque triumpho 
praeda caballorum praetor sedet, ac mihi pace 195 
inmensae nimiaeque licet si dicere plebis, 
totam liodie Romam circus capit, et fragor aurem 
percutit, eventum viridis quo colligo panni. 
nam si deficeret, maestam attonitamque videres 
banc urbem veluti Cannarum in pulvere victis 200 
consulibus. spectent iuvenes., quos clamor et audax 
sponsio, quos cultae decet assedisse puellae : 
nostra bibat vernum contracta cuticula solem 
effugiatque togam. iam nunc in balnea salva 
fronte licet vadas, quamquam solida bora super- 

sit 205 

ad sextam. facere boc non possis quinque diebus 
continues, quia sunt talis quoque taedia vitae 
magna : voluptates commendat rarior usus. 

~i~The Megalesian games (April 4-10) were held in honour 
of Cybele (^yd\v /utjttjp) ; the praetor gave the signal for 
starting the chariot-race by dropping a napkin. 

2 There were four factions in the Circus, consisting of the 
supporters of the four charioteering colours, White, Red, 



183 And now put away cares and cast business 
to the winds ! Present yourself with a welcome 
holiday, now that you may be idle for the entire 
day. Let there be no talk of money, and let there 
be no secret wrath or suspicion in your heart because 
your wife is wont to go forth at dawn and to come 
home at night with crumpled hair and flushed face 
and eai's. Cast off straightway before my threshold 
all that troubles you, all thought of house and slaves, 
with all that slaves break or lose, and above all put 
away all thought of thankless friends. 

193 Meantime the solemn Idaean rite of the 
Megalesian napkin x is being held ; there sits the 
Praetor in his triumphal state, the prey of horse- 
flesh ; and (if I may say so without offence to the 
vast unnumbered mob) all Rome to-day is in the 
Circus. A roar strikes upon my ear which tells me 
that the Green 2 has won ; for had it lost, Rome 
would be as sad and dismayed as when the 
Consuls were vanquished in the dust of Cannae. 
Such sights are for the young, whom it befits to 
shout and make bold wagers with a smart damsel 
by their side : but let my shrivelled skin drink in 
the vernal sun, and escape the toga. You may go 
at once to your bath with no shame on your 
brow, though it wants a whole hour of mid-day. 3 
That you could not do for five days continuously, 
since even such a life has weariness. It is rarity 
that gives zest to pleasure. 4 

Green, and Blue. The Green it seems was the popular colour, 
being usually favoured by the emperor. 

3 The bath was usually not taken till the eighth hour. 

4 This would seem to be almost a translation from 
Epictetus (Flor. 6. 59). "The rarest pleasures give most 




Natali, Corvine, die mihi dulcior haec lux^, 
qua festus promissa deis animalia caespes 
expectat. niveam reginae ducimus agnam, 
par vellus dabitur pugnanti Gorgone Maura ; 
sed procul extensum petulans quatit hostia funem 5 
Tarpeio servata Iovi frontemque coruscat, 
quippe ferox vitulus tempi is maturus et arae 
spargendusque mero, quem iam pudet ubera matris 
ducere, qui vexat nascenti robora cornu. 
si res ampla domi similisque adfectibus esset, 10 

pinguior Hispulla traheretur taurus et ipsa 
mole piger nee finitima nutritus in herba, 
laeta sed ostendens Clitumni pascua sanguis 
iret et a grandi cervix ferienda ministro 
ob reditum trepidantis adhuc horrendaque passi 15 
nuper et incolumem sese mirantis amici. 

Nam praeter pelagi casus et fulminis ictus 
evasit : densae caelum abscondere tenebrae 
nube una subitusque antemnas inpulit ignis, 
cum se quisque illo percussum crederet et mox 20 
attonitus nullum conferri posse putaret 
naufragium velis ardentibus. omnia fiunt 
talia, tarn graviter, si quando poetica surgit 
tempestas. genus ecce aliud discriminis audi 

1 Pallas. 

2 The Gorgon (or Gorgons) were supposed to belong to 



How Catullus escaped Shipwreck 

Dearer to me, Corvinus, is this day, when mv 
festal turf is awaiting the victims vowed to the Gods, 
than my own birthday. To the Queen of Heaven I 
offer a snow-white lamb ; a fleece as white to the 
Goddess 1 armed Avith the Moorish 2 Gorgon; hard by 
is the frolicsome victim destined for Tarpeian Jove, 
shaking the tight-stretched rope and brandishing his 
brow ; for he is a bold young steer, ripe for temple 
and for altar, and fit to be sprinkled with wine ; it 
already shames him to suck his mother's milk, and 
with his budding horn he assails the oaks. Were my 
fortune large, and as ample as my love, I should have 
been hauling along a bull fatter than Hispulla, slow- 
footed from his very bulk ; reared on no neighbour- 
ing herbage he, but showing in his blood the rich 
pastures of the Clitumnus, 3 and marching along to 
to offer his neck to the stroke of the stalwart priest, 
to celebrate the return of my still trembling friend 
who has lately gone through such terrors, and now 
marvels to find himself safe and sound. 

17 For besides the perils of the deep he escaped 
a lightning stroke. A mass of dense black cloud 
shut out the heavens, and down came a flash of fire 
upon the yards. Every man believed himself 
smitten by the bolt, and soon in his terror be- 
thought him that no shipwreck could be so terrible 
as a ship on fire. All happened in the same way and 
as frightfully as when a storm arises in a poem, 
when lo ! a new kind of peril came : hear it and give 

8 Famed for their breed of white cattle. 



et miserere iterum, quamquam sint cetera sortis 25 
eiusdem pars dira quidem,, sed cognita multis 
et quam votiva testantur fana tabella 
plurima ; pictores quis nescit ab Iside pasci ? 

Accidit et nostro similis fortuna Catullo. 
cum plenus fluctu medius foret alveus et iam, 30 

alternum puppis latus evertentibus undis, 
arbori 1 incertae, nullam prudentia cani 
rectoris cum ferret opem, decidere iactu 
coepit cum ventis, imitatus castora,, qui se 
eunuchum ipse facit cupiens evadere damno 35 

testiculi ; adeo medicatum intellegit inguen. 
" fundite quae mea sunt/' dicebat " cuncta " Catullus, 
praecipitare volens etiam pulcherrima, vestem 
purpuream teneris quoque Maecenatibus aptam, 
atque alias quarum generosi graminis ipsum 40 

infecit natura pecus, sed et egregius fons 
viribus occultis et Baeticus adiuvat aer. 
ille nee argentum dubitabat mittere, lances 
Parthenio factas, urnae cratera capacem 
et dignum sitiente Pholo vel coniuge Fusci ; 45 

adde et bascaudas et mille escaria, multum 
caelati, biberat quo callidus 2 emptor Olynthi. 
sed quis nunc alius qua mundi parte, quis audet 
argento praeferre caput rebusque salutem ? 
[non propter vitam faciunt patrimonia quidam, 50 
sed vitio caeci propter patrimonia vivunt.] 

1 arbori is Lachmann's conj. for the arboris of the MSS. 
3 callidus if : pallidas PA. 

1 i.e. by employing them to paint votive tablets for her 

e '"Bae'tica was one of the provinces of Spain, called after 
the Baetis (Guadal quiver). The wool was famed for ita 
golden colour. 



your pity once again, though the rest of the tale is all 
of one piece : a fearful lot, well known to many, and 
testified by many a votive tablet in our temples. Who 
knows not that it is Isis who feeds our painters ? 1 

29 A fate like to these befell our friend Catullus 
also. For when the hold was half full of water, and 
the waves rocked the hull from side to side, so that 
the white-haired skipper, with all his skill, could 
bring no succour to the labouring mast, he resolved 
to compound with the winds like the beaver, who 
gives up one part of his body that he may keep 
the rest ; so conscious is he of the drug which he 
carries in his groin. " Overboard with everything ! " 
shouted Catullus, ready to cast headlong his finest 
wares : purple garments, such as would have befitted 
a soft Maecenas, with other fabrics dyed on the 
sheep's back by the noble nature of the herbage 
— though doubtless the hidden virtues of the water 
and air of Baetica 2 also lent their aid. Nor did he 
hesitate to throw over pieces of silver plate- 
chargers wrought by Parthenius, 3 and bowls holding 
three gallons, fit to slake the thirst of the Centaur 
Pholus 4 or the wife of Fuscus. Besides these were 
baskets and dishes without number, and much chased 
work out of which the crafty purchaser of Olynthus 5 
had slaked his thirst. What other man is there, in 
what part of the world, who would dare to value his 
life above his plate, or his safety above his property ? 
Some men are so blinded and depraved that, instead 
of making fortunes for the sake of living, they live 
for their fortunes' sake. 

3 An engraver, otherwise unknown. 

1 The Centaurs were famed for their drinking capacity. 

3 Philip of Macedon. 



Iactatur rerum utilium pars maxima, sed nee 
damna levant, tunc adversis urguentibus illuc 
reccidit ut malum ferro summitteret ; ac se 
explicat angustum : discriminis ultima, quando 55 
praesidia adferimus navem factura minorem. 
i nunc et ventis animam committe dolato 
confisus ligno, digitis a morte remotus 
quattuor aut septem, si sit latissima, taedae ; 
mox cum reticulis et pane et ventre lagonae, GO 

aspice 1 sumendas in tempestate secures. 

Sed postquam iacuit planum mare, tempora 
prospera vectoris fatumque valentius Euro 
et pelago, postquam Parcae meliora benigna 
pensa manu ducunt hilares et staminis albi 65 

lanificae, modica nee multum fortior aura 
ventus adest, inopi miserabilis arte cucurrit 
vestibus extentis et quod superaverat unum 
velo prora suo. iam deficientibus Austris 
spes vitae cum sole redit. tunc gratus Iulo 70 

atque novercali sedes praelata Lavino 
conspicitur sublimis apex, cui Candida nomen 
scrofa dedit, laetis Phrygibus mirabile sumen, 
et numquam visis triginta clara mamillis. 

Tandem intrat positas inclusa per aequora moles 75 
Tyrrhenamque pharon porrectaque brachia rursum 
quae pelago occurrunt medio longeque relinquunt 
Italiam ; non sic igitur mirabere portus 

1 aspice Pif/ : accipe Housm.: respke Iahn. 

1 The Alban Mount. 


52 And now most of the cargo has gone overboard, 
but even these losses do not ease the vessel ; so in 
his extremity the skipper had to fall back upon 
cutting away the mast, and so find a way out of his 
straits — a dire pass indeed when no remedy can be 
found but one that diminishes the ship ! Go now, and 
commit your life to the winds ! Go trust yourself to 
a hewn plank which parts you from death by four 
finger-breadths, or seven if it be extra thick ! Only 
remember in future, besides your bread and your 
bread-basket and your pot-bellied flagon, to take 
with you axes also for use in time of storm. 

62 But soon the sea fell flat, and our mariners 
came on better times. Destiny proved stronger than 
wind and wave ; the glad Fates, with kindly hand, 
spun a yarn of white wool, there sprang up what 
was no stronger than a gentle breeze, under which 
the poor ship sped on by the sorry help of out- 
stretched garments, and the single sail now left to 
her on her prow. Soon the winds abated, and out 
came the sun, bringing hope of life ; and then there 
came into view the beetling height 1 so dear to lulus, 
and preferred by him for his abode to his step- 
mother's Lavinum, a height that took its name from 
the white sow whose wondrous womb made glad the 
Phrygians' hearts, and gained fame for her thirty 
teats — a sight never seen before ! 

75 And now at length the ship comes within the 
moles built out to enclose the sea. 2 She passes the 
Tyrrhenian Pharos, and those arms which stretch 
out and meet again in mid-ocean, leaving Italy far 
behind — a port more wondrous far than those of 

2 The port of Ostia, built by Claudius and called Portus 



quos natura dedit. sed trunca puppe magister 
interiora petit, Baianae pervia cumbae, 80 

tuti stagna sinus, gaudent ibi vertice raso 
garrula securi nan-are pericula nautae. 

Ite igitur, pueri, linguis anirnisque faventes 
sertaque delubris et farra inponite cultris 
ac mollis ornate focos glaebamque virentem. 85 

iam sequar et saero, quod praestat, rite peracto 
inde domum repetam, graciles ubi parva coronas 
accipiunt fragili simulacra nitentia cera. 
hie nostrum placabo Iovem Laribusque paternis 
tura dabo atque omnis violae iactabo colores. 90 

cuncta nitent, longos erexit ianua ramos 
et matutinis operatur festa lucernis. 

Nee suspecta tibi sint haec, Corvine : Catullus, 
pro cuius reditu tot pono altaria, parvos 
tres habet heredes. libet expectare quis aegram 95 
et claudentem oculos gallinam inpendat amico 
tarn sterili ; verum haec nimia est inpensa : coturnix 
nulla umquam pro patre cadet, sentire calorem 
si coepit locuples Gallitta et Pacius orbi, 
legitime fixis vestitur tota libellis 100 

porticus, existunt qui promittant hecatomben, 
quatenus hie non sunt nee venales elephanti, 
nee Latio aut usquam sub nostro sidere talis 
belua concipitur, sed furva gente petita 
arboribus Rutulis et Tumi pascitur agro, 105 

Caesaris armentum nulli servire paratum 
privato, siquidem Tyrio parere solebant 

1 In fulfilment, no doubt, of a vow made in the moment of 

2 The emperors kept a herd of elephants for games, etc., 
at Laurentum, near the kingdom of the Rutulian Turnus. 



Nature's making. Then the skipper, with his 
crippled ship, makes for the still waters of the inner 
basin in which any Baian shallop may ride in safety. 
There the sailors shave their heads x and delight, in 
garrulous ease, to tell the story of their perils. 

83 Away then, ye boys, and with reverent tongues 
and souls hang up garlands upon the shrines, sprinkle 
meal upon the knives, and deck the soft altars of 
verdant turf. I will quickly follow, and having duly 
performed the greater rite, will return thence home, 
where my little images of shining crumbling wax are 
being decked with slender wreaths. Here will I 
entreat my own Jupiter ; here will I offer incense 
to my paternal Lares, and scatter pansies of every 
hue. Here all is bright; the gateway, in token of 
feast, has put up trailing branches, and is worshipping 
with early-lighted lamps. 

93 Look not askance, Corvinus, upon these rejoic- 
ings. The Catullus for whose return I set up all 
these altars has three little heirs of his own. You 
may wait long enough before you find anyone to 
bestow a sickly hen, just closing her eyes, upon so 
unprofitable a friend ; nay, a hen would be all too 
costly : no quail will ever fall for a man who is 
a father ! But if the rich and childless Gallitta or 
Pacius have a touch of fever, their entire porticoes 
will be dressed out with tablets fastened in due form; 
there will be some to vow hecatombs, not elephants, 
indeed, seeing that elephants are not for sale, nor does 
that beast breed in Latium, or anywhere beneath our 
skies, but is fetched from the dark man's land, and 
fed in the Rutulian forest and the domains of Turn us. 2 
The herd is Caesar's, 2 and will serve no private 
master, since their forefathers were wont to obey the 

r 2 


Hannibali et nostris ducibus regique Molosso 

horum maiores ac dorso ferre cohortis, 

partem aliquam belli, et euntem in proelia tur- 

™ 110 

rem. 1 x u 

nulla igitur mora per Novium, mora nulla per Histrum 

Pacuvium, quin illud ebur dueatur ad aras 

et cadat ante Lares Gallittae victima sola 

tantis digna deis et captatoribus horum. 

alter enim, si coneedas, mactare vovebit 115 

de grege servorum magna et pulcberrima quaeque 

corpora, vel pueris et frontibus ancillarum 

inponet vittas, et siqua est nubilis illi 

Iphigenia domi, dabit banc altaribus, etsi 

non sperat tragicae furtiva piacula cervae. 1 20 

Laudo meum civem, nee comparo testamento 
mille rates ; nam si Libitinam evaserit aeger, 
delebit tabulas inclusus carcere nassae 
post meritum sane mirandum atque omnia soli 
forsan Pacuvio breviter dabit, ille superbus 125 

incedet victis rivalibus. ergo vides quam 
grande operae pretium faciat iugulata Mycenis. 
vivat Pacuvius quaeso vel Nestora totum, 
possideat quantum rapuit Nero, montibus aurum 
exaequet, nee amet quemquam nee ametur ab 
ullo. 13 ° 

1 Pyrrhus. 2 Legacy-hunters. 

3 Sacrificed by her father Agamemnon to procure a fair 
wind for the Greek fleet. 



Tyrian Hannibal and our generals and the Molos- 
sian king, 1 and to carry cohorts on their backs — no 
small fraction of a war — whole towers going forth to 
battle ! Therefore Novius 2 would not hesitate, Pacu- 
vius Hister 2 would not hesitate, to lead that ivoried 
monster to the altar, and offer it to Gallitta's Lares, 
the only victim worthy of such august divinities, and 
of those who hunt their gold. For the latter worthy, 
if permitted, will vow to sacrifice the tallest and 
comeliest of his slaves ; he will place fillets on the 
brows of his slave-boys and maidservants ; if he has 
a marriageable Iphigenia 3 at home, he will place 
her upon the altar, though he could never hope for 
the hind of tragic story to provide a secret sub- 
stitute. 4 

121 I commend the wisdom of my fellow townsman, 
nor can I compare a thousand ships to an inherit- 
ance ; for if the sick man escape the Goddess of 
Death, he will be caught Avithin the net, he will 
destroy his will, and after the prodigious services of 
Pacuvius will maybe by a single word, make him 
heir to all his possessions, and Pacuvius will strut 
proudly over his vanquished rivals. You see there- 
fore how well worth while it was to slaughter that 
maiden at Mycenae ! Long live Pacuvius ! may he 
live, I pray, as many years as Nestor ; may he possess 
as much as Nero plundered ; may he pile up gold 
mountain-high ; may he love no one, and be by none 
beloved ! 

4 Later tradition pretended that a hind had been sub- 
stituted for Iphigenia. 




Exemi'Lo quodcumque malo committitur, ipsi 
displicet auctori : prima est haec ultio, quod se 
iudice nemo nocens absolvitur, improba quamvis 
gratia fallaci praetoris vicerit urna. 
quid sentire putas omnes, Calvine, recenti 5 

de seelere et fidei violatae crimine ? sed nee 
tarn tenuis census tibi contigit, ut mediocris 
iacturae te mergat onus, nee rara videmus 
quae pateris ; casus multis hie cognitus ac iam 
tritus et e medio fortunae ductus acervo. 10 

ponamus nimios gemitus. fiagrantior aequo 
non debet dolor esse viri nee vulnere maior. 
tu quamvis levium minimam exiguamque malorum 
particulam vix ferre potes spumantibus ardens 
visceribus, sacrum tibi quod non reddat amicus 15 
depositum ; stupet haec qui iam post terga reliquit 
sexasrinta annos Fonteio consule natus ? 
an nihil in melius tot rerum proficis 1 usu r 

Magna quidem, sacris quae dat praecepta libellis, 
victrix fortunae sapientia ; ducimus autem 20 

hos quoque felices, qui ferre incommoda vitae 
nee iactare iugum vita didicere magistra. 
quae tarn festa dies, ut cesset prodere furem, 
perfidiam, fraudes atque omni ex crimine lucrum 
quaesitum et pai-tos gladio vel pyxide nummos ? 25 

1 prqficit P : proficis ^ and Housm. 

1 C. Fonteius Capito, consul ad. 67. That fixes the date 
of this Satire to the year a.d. 127. 



The Terrors of a Guilty Conscience 

No deed that sets an example of evil brings joy 
to the doer of it. The first punishment is this : that 
no guilty man is acquitted at the bar of his own 
conscience, though he have won his cause by a 
juggling urn, and the corrupt favour of the judge. 
What do you suppose, Calvinus, that people are now 
thinking about the recent villainy and the charge of 
trust betrayed ? Your means are not so small that 
the weight of a slight loss will weigh you down ; 
nor is your misfortune rare. Such a mishap has been 
known to many ; it is one of the common kind, 
plucked at random out of Fortune's heap. Away 
with undue lamentations ! a man's wrath should not 
be hotter than is fit, nor greater than the loss sus- 
tained. You are scarce able to bear the very 
smallest particle of misfortune ; your bowels foam 
hot within you because your friend will not give up 
to you the sacred trust committed to him ; does this 
amaze one who was born in the Consulship of Fon- 
teius, 1 and has left sixty years behind him ? Have 
you gained nothing from all your experience ? 

19 Great indeed is Philosophy, the conqueror of 
Fortune, and sacred are her precepts ; but they too 
are to be deemed happy who have learnt under the 
schooling of life to endure its ills without fretting 
against the yoke. What day is there, however festal, 
which fails to disclose theft, treachery and fraud : 
gain made out of every kind of crime, and money 
won by the dagger or the bowl ? 2 For honest men 

2 Pyxis is any bowl made of boxwood. 



rati quippe boni : numera, vix sunt totidem quot 
Thebarum portae vel divitis ostia Nili. 
nona 1 aetas agitur peioraque saecula ferri 
temporibus, quorum sceleri non invenit ipsa 
nomen et a nullo posuit natura metallo. 30 

nos hominum divumque fidem clamore ciemus 
quanto Faesidium laudat vocalis agentem 
sportula. die, senior bulla dignissime, nescis 
quas habeat veneres aliena pecunia ? nescis 
quern tua simplicitas risum vulgo moveat, cum 35 
exigis a quoquam ne peieret et putet ullis 
esse aliquod numen templis araeque rubenti ? 
quondam hoc indigenae vivebant more, priusquam 
sumeret agrestem posito diademate falcem 
Saturnus fugiens, tunc cum virguncula Iuno 40 

et privatus adhuc Idaeis Iuppiter antris ; 
nulla super nubes convivia caelicolarum, 
nee puer Iliacus formosa nee Herculis uxor 
ad cyathos, et iam siccato nectare tergens 
bracchia Vulcanus Liparaea nigra taberna. 45 

prandebat sibi quisque deus, nee turba deorum 
talis ut est hodie, contentaque sidera paucis 
numinibus miserum urguebant Atlanta minori 
pondere, nondum aliquis 2 sortitus triste profundi 

1 nona. So \f> and Housm.: non FGr : PBiicli. and Owen 
have the unmeaning nunc. 

2 aliquis is read by i^, but omitted by P. Housm. conj. 
imi. See Journal of Phil. No. 67, p. 42. 

1 Thebes had seven gates, the Nile seven mouths. 

a The dole {sportula) is called " vocal " because it secures 
to the patron the applause of his client when he pleads in 



are scarce ; hardly so numerous as the gates of 
Thebes, or the mouths of the enriching Nile. 1 We 
are living in a ninth age ; an age more evil than that 
of iron — one for whose wickedness Nature herself 
can find no name, no metal from which to call it. 
We summon Gods and men to our aid with cries as 
loud as that with which the vocal dole 2 applauds 
Faesidius when he pleads. Tell me, you old gentle- 
man, that should be wearing the bulla 3 of childhood, 
do you know nothing of the charm of other people's 
money ? Are you ignorant of how the world laughs 
at your simplicity when you demand of any man 
that he shall not perjure himself, and believe that 
some divinity is to be found in temples or in altars 
red with blood? Primitive men lived thus in the 
olden days, before Saturn laid down his diadem and 
fled, betaking himself to the rustic sickle ; in the 
days when Juno was a little maid, and Jupiter still 
a private gentleman in the caves of Ida. 4 In those 
days there were no banquets of the heavenly host 
above the clouds, there was no Trojan youth, no fair 
wife of Hercules 5 for cup-bearer, no Vulcan wiping 
arms begrimed by the Liparaean 6 forge after tossing 
off his nectar. Each God then dined by himself ; 
there was no such mob of deities as there is to-day ; 
the stars were satisfied with a few divinities, and 
pressed with a lighter load upon the hapless Atlas. 
No monarch had as yet had the gloomy realms below 
allotted to him ; there was no grim Pluto with a 

3 The bulla was a case of gold containing an amulet against 
the evil ej'e, worn by all free-born boys until they put on the 
toga virilis. 

4 Mount Ida in Crete where Zeus was born. B Hebe. 

6 Lipari, the group of islands elsewhere called Aeolian 
(i. 7)> where Vulcan's forge was placed. 



impei-iunx, aut Sicula torvos cum coniuge Pluton, 50 
nee rota nee Furiae nee saxum aut vulturis atri 
poena, sed infernis hilares sine regibus umbrae, 
inprobitas illo fuit admirabilis aevo, 
credebant quo grande nefas et morte piandum, 
si iuvenis vetulo non adsurrexerat et si 55 

barbato cuicumque puer, licet ipse videret 
plura domi fraga et maiores glandis acervos ; 
tam venerabile erat praecedere quattuor annis, 
primaque par adeo sacrae lanugo senectae. 

Nunc si depositum non infitietur amicus, 60 

si reddat veterem cum tota aerugine follem, 
prodigiosa fides et Tuscis digna libellis, 
quaeque coronata lustrari debeat agna. 
egregium sanctumque virum si cerno, bimembri 
hoc monstrum puero et miranti J sub aratro 65 

piscibus inventis et fetae comparo mulae, 
sollicituSj tamquam lapides effuderit imber 
examenque apium longa consederit uva 
culmine delubri, tamquam in mare fluxerit amnis 
gurgitibus miris et lactis vertice torrens. 70 

Intercepta decern quereris sestertia fraude 
sacrilega. quid si bis centum perdidit alter 
hoc arcana modo ? maiorem tertius ilia 
summam, quam patulae vix ceperat angulus arcae ? 
tam facile et pronum est superos contemnere 

testes, 75 

si mortalis idem nemo sciat ! aspice quanta 
voce neget, quae sit ficti constantia vultus : 
per Solis radios Tarpeiaque fulmina iurat 

1 So \p and Housm. : Biich. follows the mirandis of P. 

1 The wheel of Ixion. 2 The stone of Sisyphus. 

3 Tityus was preyed upon by a vulture. 



Sicilian spouse; there was no wheel, 1 no rock, 2 no 
Furies, no black torturing Vulture ; 3 the shades led 
a merry life, with no kings over their nether world. 
Dishonesty was a prodigy in those days ; men 
deemed it a heinous sin, worthy of death, if a youth 
did not rise before his elders, or a boy before any 
bearded man, though he himself might see more 
strawberries, and bigger heaps of acorns, in his own 
home. So worshipful was it to be older by four 
years, so equal to reverend age was the first down of 
manhood ! 

60 But nowadays, if a friend does not disavow a 
sum entrusted to him, if he restore the old purse 
with all its rust, his good faith is deemed a portent 
calling for the sacred books of Etruria, and to be 
expiated by a lamb decked with garlands. If I dis- 
cover an upright and blameless man, I liken him to 
a boy born with double limbs, or to fishes found by a 
marvelling rustic under the plough, or to a pregnant 
mule : I am as concerned as though it had rained 
stones, or a swarm of bees had settled in a long 
cluster on a temple-roof, or as though some river had 
poured down wondrous floods of milk into the sea. 

71 You complain, do you, that by an impious fraud 
you have been robbed of ten thousand sesterces ? 
What if someone else has by a like fraud lost a secret 
deposit of two hundred thousand sesterces ? A third 
a still greater sum, which could scarce find room in 
the corners of his ample treasure-chest ? So simple 
and easy a thing is it to disregard heavenly witnesses, 
if no mortal man is privy to the secret ! Hear 
how loudly the fellow denies the charge ! See 
the assurance of his perfidious face ! He swears 
by the rays of the sun and the Tarpeian thunder- 



et Martis frameam et Cirrhaei spicula vatis, 

per calamos venatricis pharetramque puellae 80 

perque tuum, pater Aegaei Neptune, tridentem ; 

addit et Herculeos areus hastamque Minervae, 

quidquid habent telorum armamentaria caeli. 

si vero et pater est, " comedam/' inquit flebile, " nati 

sinciput elixi Pharioque madentis aceto." 85 

Sunt in fortunae qui casibus omnia ponant 
et nullo credant mundum rectore moveri 
natura volvente vices et lucis et anni, 
atque ideo intrepidi quaecumque altaria tangunt. 
est alius metuens ne crimen poena sequatur ; 90 

hie putat esse deos et peierat, atque ita secum : 
" decernat quodcumque volet de corpore nostro 
Isis et irato feriat mea lumina sistro, 
dummodo vel caecus teneam quos abnego nummos. 
et phthisis et vomicae putres et dimidium crus 95 
sunt tanti. pauper locupletem optare podagram 
nee dubitet Ladas, si non eget Anticyra nee 
Archigene ; quid enim velocis gloria plantae 
praestat et esuriens Pisaeae ramus olivae ? 
ut sit magna, tamen certe lenta ira deorum est ; 100 
si curant igitur cunctos punire nocentes, 
quando ad me venient ? sed et exorabile numen 
fortasse experiar, solet his ignoscere. multi 
committunt eadem diverso crimina fato : 
ille crucem sceleris pretium tulit, hie diadema." 105 

1 A famous Greek runner. 

2 An island on which hellebore, the remedy for madness, 
was grown. 

3 An olive-wreath was the prize at the Olympian games. 



bolts; by the lance of Mars and the arrows of the 
Cirrhaean Seer; by the shafts and quiver of the 
maiden huntress, and by thine own trident, O Nep- 
tune, thou lord of the Aegaean sea. He throws 
in besides the bow of Hercules, and Minerva's spear, 
and all the weapons contained in all the armouries 
of Heaven; if he be a father, "May I eat," he 
tearfully declares, "my own son's head boiled, and 
dripping with Egyptian vinegar ! " 

80 Some think that all things are subject to the 
chances of Fortune ; these believe that the world has 
no governor to move it, but that Nature rolls along 
the changes of day and year ; they will therefore lay 
their hands on any altar you please without a tremor. 
Another fears that punishment will follow crime ; 
he believes that there are Gods, but perjures him- 
self all the same, reasoning thus within himself: 
" Let Isis deal with my body as she wills, and blast 
my sight with her avenging rattle, provided only 
that even when blind I may keep the money which 
I disavow ; it is worth having phthisis or running 
ulcers or losing half one's leg at the price ! Ladas J 
himself, if not needing treatment at Anticyra 2 or 
by Archigenes, would not hesitate to accept the rich 
man's gout ; for what is to be got out of fame for 
swiftness of foot, or from a hungry branch of the 
Pisaean Olive 3 ? The wrath of the Gods may be 
great, but it assuredly is slow ; if then they charge 
themselves with punishing all the guilty, when will 
they get my length ? And besides I may perchance 
find the God placable ; he is wont to forgive things 
like this. Many commit the same crime and fare 
differently : one man gets a gibbet, another a crown, 
as the reward of crime." 



Sic animum dirae trepidum formidine culpae 
eonfirmat, tunc te sacra ad delubra vocantem 
pvaecedit, trahere imrao ultro ac vexare paratus. 
nam cum magna malae superest audacia causae, 
credituT a multis fiducia. mimum agit ille, 110 

urbani qualem fugitivus scurra Catulli : 
tu miser exclamas, ut Stentora vincere possis, 
vel potius quantum Gradivus Homericus : " audis, 
Iuppiter, haec, nee labra moves, cum mittere vocem 
debueris vel marmoreus vel aeneus? aut cur 115 

in carbone tuo charta pia tura soluta 
ponimus et sectum vituli iecur albaque porci 
omenta ? ut video, nullum discrimen habendum est 
effigies inter vestras statuamque Vagelli." 

Accipe quae contra valeat solacia ferre 120 

et qui nee cynicos nee stoica dogmata legit 
a cynicis tunica distantia, non Epicurum 
suspicit exigui laetum plantaribus borti. 
curentur dubii medicis maioribus aegri : 
tu venam vel discipulo committe Philippi. 125 

si nullum in terris tarn detestabile factum 
ostendis, taceo, nee pugnis caedere pectus 
te veto nee plana faciem contundere pal ma, 
quandoquidem accepto claudenda est ianua damno, 
et maiore domus gemitu, maiore tumultu 130 

planguntur nummi quam funera. nemo dolorem 
fingit in hoc casu, vestem diducere summam 

» See viii. 186. 2 See Horn. II. v. 785. 

3 The Cynics discarded the tunic. 
* Some inferior doctor ; unknown. 

2 54 


106 That is how they reassure their minds when in 
terror for some deadly guilt. If you summon them 
then to the holy shrine, they will be there before 
you ; nay, they will themselves drag you thither, and 
dare you to the proof; for when a bad cause is well 
backed by a bold face, the man gets credit for self- 
confidence. Such a one plays a part, like the runaway 
buffoon of the witty Catullus, 1 but you, poor wretch, 
may shout so as to out-do Stentor, 2 or rather as 
loudly as the Mars of Homer, " Do you hear all this, 
O Jupiter, with lip unmoved, when you ought to 
have been making yourself heard, whether you be 
made of marble or of bronze ? Else why do I open 
my packet of holy incense, and place it on your 
blazing altar ? Why offer slices of a calf's liver or 
the fat of a white pig ? So far as I can see, there is 
nothing to choose between your images and the 
statue of Vagellius ! " 

120 And now hear what consolations can be offered 
on the other side by one who has not embraced the 
doctrines either of the Cynics, or of the Stoics — who 
only differ from the Cynics by a shirt 3 — nor yet 
reverenced Epicurus, so proud of the herbs in his tiny 
garden. Let doubtful maladies be tended by doctors 
of repute ; your veins may be entrusted to a disciple 
of Philippus. 4 If in all the world you cannot show 
me so abominable a crime, I hold my peace ; I will 
not forbid you to smite your breast with your fists, 
or to pummel your face with open palm, seeing that 
after so great a loss you must close your doors, and 
that a household bewails the loss of money with 
louder lamentations than a death. In such a mis- 
fortune no grief is simulated ; no one is content to 
rend the top of his garment, or to squeeze forced 



contentus, vexare oculos umore coacto : 
ploratur lac.rimis amissa pecunia veris. 

Sed si cuncta vides simili fora plena querella, 135 
si decies lectis diversa parte tabellis 
vana supervacui dieunt chirogvapha ligni, 
arguit ipsorum quos littera gemmaque princeps 
sardonychum, loculis quae custoditur eburnis, 
ten, o delicias ! extra communia censes HO 

ponendum, quia tu gallinae filius albae, 
nos viles pulli, nati infelicibus ovis ? 
rem pateris modicam et mediocri bile ferendam, 
si flectas oculos maiora ad crimina. confer 
conductum latronem, incendia sulpure coepta 145 
atque dolo, primos cum ianua colligit ignes ; 
confer et hos, veteris qui tollunt grandia templi 
pocula adorandae robiginis et populorum 
dona vel antiquo positas a rege coronas ; 
haec ibi si non sunt, minor exstat sacrilegus qui 150 
radat inaurati femur Herculis et faciem ipsam 
Neptuni, qui bratteolam de Castore ducat ; 
an dubitet solitus totum conflare Tonantem ? 
confer et artifices mercatoremque veneni, 
et deducendum corio bovis in mare, cum quo 155 
clauditur adversis innoxia simia fatis. 
haec quota pars scelerum, quae custos Gallicus urbis 
usque alucifero donee lux occidat audit ? 
humani generis mores tibi nosse volenti 
sufficit una domus : paucos consume dies et 160 

dicere te miserum, postquam illinc veneris, aude. 

» See note on viii. 214. 


moisture from his eyes ; unfeigned are the tears 
which lament the loss of wealth. 

135 But if you see every court beset with complaints 
like to yours ; if after a bond has been read over ten 
times by the opposing party, they declare the docu- 
ment to be waste paper, though convicted by their 
own handwriting, and by the signet ring, most choice 
of sardonyx stones, kept in an ivory case — do you, 
my fine fellow, suppose that_you are to be placed 
outside the common lot, because you were born of a 
white hen, while we are common chickens, hatched 
out of unlucky eggs ? Your loss is a modest one, to 
be endured with a moderate amount of choler, if you 
cast an eye on grosser wrongs. Compare with your 
case the hired robber, or the fire purposely stai-ted 
by sulphur, the flame bursting out at your front door; 
think too of those who carry off from ancient temples 
splendid cups of venerable antiquity, that were the 
gift of nations, or crowns dedicated by some ancient 
monarch ! If such things are not to be had, a petty 
desecrator will be found to scrape off the gilding from 
the thigh of Hercules, or from the very face of Nep- 
tune, or to strip Castor of his beaten gold. And why 
should he hesitate, Avhen he has been used to melt 
down an entire Thunderer ? Compare too the manu- 
facturers and sellers of poison, and the man who 
should be cast into the sea inside an ox's hide, with 
whom a luckless destiny encloses a harmless ape. 1 
What a mere fraction these of the crimes which Galli- 
cus, 2 the guardian of our city, has to listen to from 
dawn to eve ! If you would know what mankind is 
like, that one court-house will suffice ; spend a few 
days in it, and when you come out, dare to call yourself 

8 Rutilius Gallicus, prefect of the city under Domitian. 



quis tumidum guttur miratur in Alpibus, aut quis 
in Meroe crasso maiorem infante mamillam ? 
caerula quis stupuit Germani lumina, flavam 
caesariem et madido torquentem cornua cirro ? 165 
[nempe quod haec illis natura est omnibus una.] 
ad subitas Thracum volucres nubemque sonoram 
Pygmaeus parvis currit bellator in armis, 
mox inpar hosti raptusque per aera curvis 
unguibus a saeva fertur grue. si videas hoc 170 

gentibus in nostris, risu quatiare ; sed illic, 
quamquam eadem adsidue spectentur proelia, ridet 
nemo, ubi tota cohors pede non est altior uno. 
" Nullane peiuri capitis fraudisque nefandae 

poena erit ? " abreptum crede hunc graviore 

1 7^ 
catena ± ' ° 

protinus et nostro (quid plus velit ira ?) necari 

arbitrio : manet ilia tamen iactura, nee umquam 

depositum tibi sospes erit, sed corpore t runco 

invidiosa dabit minimus x solacia sanguis. 

"at vindicta bonum vita iucundius ipsa." 180 

nempe hoc indocti, quorum praecordia nullis 

interdum aut levibus videas flagrantia causis ; 

quantulacumque adeo est occasio sufficit irae. 

Chrysippus non dicet idem nee mite Thaletis 

ingenium dulcique senex vicinus Hymetto, 185 

qui partem acceptae saeva inter vincla cicutae 

accusatori nollet dare, plurima felix 

paulatim vitia atque errores exuit omnes, 

1 minimus PiJ/ : Housm. conj. solum. 

» An island in Upper Egypt formed by two branches of the 

Nile. , . . , 

* Legends of battles between cranes and pygmies are iound 

in Homer {11. iii- 3-6), Aristotle, and elsewhere. 
3 The great Stoic philosopher, B.C. 289-2U7. 



unfortunate. Who marvels at a swollen throat in the 
Alps ? or in Meroe ! at a woman's breast bigger than 
her sturdy babe ? Who is amazed to see a German 
with blue eyes and yellow hair, twisting his greasy 
curls into a horn ? We marvel not, clearly because 
this one nature is common to them all. The Pygmy 
warrior marches forth in his tiny arms to encounter the 
sudden swoop and clamorous cloud of Thracian birds ; 
but soon, no match for his foe, he is snatched up 
by the savage crane and borne in his crooked talons 
through the air. 2 If you saw this in our own country, 
you would shake with laughter; but in that land, 
where the whole host is only one foot high, though 
like battles are witnessed every day, no one laughs ! 
174 c( What ? Is there to be no punishment for 
that perjured soul and his impious fraud?" Well, 
suppose him to have been hurried off in heavy 
chains, and slain (what more could anger ask?) at 
our good pleasure ; yet your loss still remains, your 
deposit will not be saved ; and the smallest drop of 
blood from that headless body will bring you hatred 
along with your consolation. " O ! but vengeance 
is good, sweeter than life itself." Yes ; so say the 
ignorant, whose passionate hearts you may see ablaze 
at the slightest cause, sometimes for no cause at all ; 
any occasion, indeed, however small it be, suffices for 
their wrath. But so will not Chrysippus 3 say, or the 
gentle Thales, 4 or the old man 6 who dwelt near sweet 
Hymettus, who would have given to his accuser no 
drop of the hemlock-draught which was administered 
to him in that cruel bondage. Benign Philosophy, 
by degrees, strips from us most of our vices, and all 

* The Ionic philosopher of Miletus, about B.C. 636-546 
4 Socrates. 

s 2 


prima docet rectum sapientia. quippe minuti 
semper et infirmi est animi exiguique voluptas 190 
ultio. continuo sic collige, quod vindicta 
nemo magis gaudet quam femina. 

Cur tamen hos tu 

evasisse putes, quos diri conscia facti 

mens habet attonitos et surdo verbere caedit 

occultum quatiente animo tortore flagellum? 195 

poena autem vehemens ac multo saevior illis 

quas et Caedicius gravis invenit et Rhadamanthus, 

nocte dieque suum gestare in pectore testem. 

Spartano cuidam respondit Pythia vates 

haut inpunitum quondam fore quod dubitaret 200 

depositum retinere et fraudem hire tueri 

iurando ; quaerebat enim quae numinis esset 

mens et an hoc illi facinus suaderet Apollo. 

reddidit ergo metn, non moribus ; et tamen omnem 

vocem adyti dignam templo veramque probavit 205 

extinctus tota pariter cum prole domoque, 

et quamvis longa deductis gente propinquis. 

has patitur poenas peccandi sola voluntas. 

nam scelus intra se taciturn qui cogitat ullum, 

facti crimen habet. 

Cedo si conata peregit : 210 

perpetua anxietas nee mensae tempore cessat, 

faucibus ut morbo siccis interque molares 

difficili crescente cibo, sed vina misellus 

expuit, Albani veteris pretiosa senectus 

displicet ; ostendas melius, densissima ruga 21 5 

1 Not known. 


our mistakes ; it is she that first teaches us the right. 
For vengeance is always the delight of a little, weak, 
and petty mind ; of which you may straightway draw 
proof from this — that no one so rejoices in vengeance 
as a woman. 

192 But why should you suppose that a man escapes 
punishment whose mind is ever kept in terror by the 
consciousness of an evil deed which lashes him with 
unheard blows, his own soul ever shaking over him 
the unseen whip of toi-ture ? It is a grievous punish- 
ment, more cruel far than any devised by the stern 
Caedicius 1 or by Rhadamanthus, to carry in one's 
breast by night and by day one's own accusing wit- 
ness. The Pythian prophetess once made answer to 
a Spartan that it would not pass unpunished in after 
time that he had thought of keeping back a sum en- 
trusted to him supporting the wrong by perjury ; 
for he asked what was the mind of the Deity, and 
whether Apollo counselled him to do the deed. He 
therefore restored the money, through fear, and not 
from honesty ; nevertheless he found all the words of 
the Oracle to be true and worthy of the shrine, 
being destroyed with his whole race and family and 
relations, however far removed. Such are the penal- 
ties endured by the mere wish to sin ; for he who 
secretly meditates a crime within his breast has all 
the guiltiness of the deed. 

210 What then if the purposed deed be done ? His 
disquiet never ceases, not even at the festal board ; 
his throat is as dry as in a fever ; he can scarcely 
take his food, it swells between his teeth ; he spits 
out the wine, poor wretch ; he cannot abide the 
choicest old Albanian, and if you bring out some- 
thing finer still, wrinkles gather upon his brow as 



cogitur in frontem velut acri ducta Falerno. 

nocte brevem si forte indulsit cura soporem, 

et toto versata toro iam membra quiescunt, 

continuo templum et violati numinis aras 

et, quod praecipuis mentem sudoribus urguet, 220 

te videt in somnis ; tua sacra et maior imago 

humana turbat pavidum cogitque fateri. 

hi sunt qui trepidant et ad omnia fulgura pal lent, 

cum tonat, exanimes primo quoque murmure caeli, 

non quasi fortuitus nee ventorum rabie sed 225 

iratus cadat in terras et iudicet ignis. 

ilia nihil nocuit, cura graviore timetur 

proxima tempestas velut hoc dilata sereno. 

praeterea lateris vigili cum febre dolorem 

si coepere pati, missum ad sua corpora morbum 230 

infesto credunt a numine, saxa deorum 

haec et tela putant. pecudem spondere sacello 

balantem et Laribus cristam promittere galli 

non audent ; quid enim sperare nocentibus aegris 

concessum ? vel quae non dignior hostia vita ? 235 

mobilis et varia est ferme natura malorum : 

cum scelus admittunt, superest constantia ; quod fas 

atque nefas, tandem incipiunt sentire peractis 

criminibus. tamen ad mores natura recurrit 

damnatos fixa et mutari nescia. nam quis 240 

peccandi finem posuit sibi ? quando recepit 

eiectum semel attrita de fronte ruborem ? 

quisnam hominum est quern tu contentum videris uno 



though it had been puckered up by some Falernian 
turned sour. In the night, if his troubles grant him 
a short slumber, and his limbs, after tossing upon 
the bed, are sinking into repose, he straightway be- 
holds the temple and the altar of the God whom he 
has outraged ; and what weighs with chiefest ten-or 
on his soul, he sees you in his dreams ; your awful 
form, larger than life, frightens his quaking heart and 
wrings confession from him. These are the men who 
tremble and grow pale at every lightning-flash ; when 
it thunders, they quail at the first rumbling in the 
heavens ; not as though it were an affair of chance 
or brought about by the raging of the winds, but as 
though the flame had fallen in wrath and as a judg- 
ment upon the earth. If one storm pass harmless 
by, they look more anxiously for the next, as though 
this calm were only a reprieve. If, again, they 
suffer from pains in the side, with a fever that robs 
them of their sleep, they believe that the sickness has 
been inflicted on them by the offended Deity : these 
they deem to be the missiles, these the arrows of the 
Gods. They dare not vow a bleating victim to a 
shrine, or offer a crested cock to the Lares ; for what 
hope is permitted to the guilty sick ? What victim 
is not more worthy of life than they ? Inconstant 
and shifty, for the most part, is the nature of bad 
men. In committing a crime, they have courage 
enough and to spare ; they only begin to feel what 
is right and what wrong when it has been committed. 
Yet nature, firm and changeless, returns to the 
ways which it has condemned. For who ever fixed a 
term to his own offending? When did a hardened 
brow ever recover the banished blush ? What man 
have you ever seen that was satisfied with one act of 



flagitio ? dabit in laqueum vestigia noster 

perfidus et nigri patietur carceris uncum 245 

aut maris Aegaei rupem scopulosque frequentes 

exulibus magnis. poena gaudebis amara 

nominis invisi, tandemque fatebere laetus 

nee surdum nee Teresian quemquam esse deorum. 


Plurima sunt, Fuscine, et fama digna sinistra 
et nitidis maculam haesuram figentia rebus, 1 
quae monstrant ipsi pueris traduntque parentes. 
si damnosa senem iuvat alea, ludit et heres 
bullatus parvoque eadem movet arma fritillo. 5 

nee melius de se cuiquam sperare propinquo 
concede t iuvenis, qui radere tubera terrae, 
boletum condire et eodem iure natantis 
mergere ficedulas didicit nebulone parente 
et cana monstrante gula ; cum septimus annus 10 
transient puerum, nondum omni dente renato, 
barbatos licet admoveas mille inde magistros, 
hinc totidem, cupiet lauto cenare paratu 
semper et a magna non degenerare culina. 

Mitem animum et mores modicis erroribus 
aequos 15 

praecipit, atque animas servorum et corpora nostra 
materia constare putat paribusque elementis, 

1 Biich. (1910) inserts within brackets the following line 
found in if< between 1 and 2 : et quod maiorum vitia sequi- 
turque minores. AG read vitio for vitia, 



villainy ? Our scoundrel will yet put his feet into the 
snare ; he will have to endure the dark prison-house 
and the staple, or one of those crags in the Aegaean 
sea that are crowded with our noble exiles. You will 
exult over the stern punishment of a hated name, 
and at length admit with joy that none of the Gods 
is deaf or like unto Tiresias. 1 

No Teaching like that of Example 

There are many things of ill repute, friend Fusci- 
nus, — things that would affix a lasting stain to the 
brightest of lives, — which parents themselves point 
out and hand on to their sons. If the aged father 
delights in ruinous play, his heir too gambles in 
his teens, and rattles the selfsame weapons in a tiny 
dice-box. If a youth has learnt from the hoary 
gluttony of a spendthrift father to peel truffles, to 
preserve mushrooms, and to souse beccaficoes in their 
own juice, none of his relatives need expect better 
things of him when he grows up. As soon as he has 
passed his seventh year, before he has cut all his 
second teeth, though you put a thousand bearded 
preceptors on his right hand, and as many on his 
left, he will always long to fare sumptuously, and 
not fall below the high standard of "his cookery. 

15 When Rutilus delights in the sound of a cruel 
flogging, deeming it sweeter than any siren's song, 
and being himself a very Antiphates, 2 or a Poly- 
phemus, to his trembling household, is he inculcating 

1 The soothsayer Tiresias was blind. 

* A cruel tyrant, king of the Laestrygones. 



an saevire docet Rutilus, qui gaudet acerbo 
plagarum strepitu et nullam Sirena flagellis 
conparat, Antiphates trepidi laris ac Polyphemus, 20 
tunc felix, quotiens aliquis tortore vocato 
uritur ardenti duo propter lintea ferro ? 
quid suadet iuveni laetus stridore catenae, 
quern mire adficiunt inscripta, ergastula, career ? 
rusticus expectas ut non sit adultera Largae 25 

filia, quae numquam maternos dicere moechos 
tarn cito nee tanto poterit contexere cursu, 
ut non terdecies respiret ? conscia mati-i 
virgo fuit, ceras nunc hac dictante pusillas 
implet et ad moechum dat eisdem ferre cinaedis. 30 
sic natura iubet : velocius et citius nos 
corrumpunt vitiorum exempla domestica, magnis 
cum subeant animos auctoribus. unus et alter 
forsitan haec spernant iuvenes, quibus arte benigna 
et meliore luto finxit praecordia Titan, 35 

sed reliquos fugienda patrum vestigia ducunt 
et monstrata diu veteris trahit orbita culpae. 

Abstineas igitur damnandis. huius enim vel 
una potens ratio est, ne crimina nostra sequantui 
ex nobis geniti, quoniam dociles imitandis 40 

turpibus ac pravis omnes sumus, et Catilinam 
quocumque in populo videas, quocumque sub axe, 
sed nee Brutus erit Bruti nee avunculus usquam. 
nil dictu foedum visuque haec limina tangat, 

1 Prometheus, who made mea out of clay. 


gentleness, and leniency to slight faults : does he 
hold that the bodies and souls of slaves are made of 
the same stuff and elements as our own ; or is he 
inculcating cruelty, never happy until he has sum- 
moned a torturer, and he can brand some one with 
a hot iron for stealing a couple of towels? What 
counsel does the father give to his son when he 
revels in the clanking of a chain, and takes wondrous 
pleasure in branded slaves, in prisons and his country 
bridewell ? Are you simple enough to suppose that 
Larga's daughter will remain virtuous when she 
cannot count over her mother's lovers so rapidly, or 
string their names together so quickly, as not to 
take breath full thirty times ? She was her mother's 
confidante as a girl ; at her dictation she now in- 
dites her own little love-notes, despatching them to 
her paramours by the hand of the self-same menials. 
So Nature ordains ; no evil example corrupts us so 
soon and so rapidly as one that has been set at home, 
since it comes into the mind on high authority. 
Here and there perhaps a youth may decline to 
follow the bad example : one whose soul the Titan 1 
has fashioned with kindlier skill and of a finer clay ; 
but the rest are led on by the parental steps which 
they should avoid, and are dragged into the old 
track of vice which has so long been pointed out to 

38 Abstain therefore from things which you must 
condemn : for this there is at least one all-powerful 
motive, that our crimes be not copied by our children. 
For we are all of us teachable in what is base and 
wrong ; you may find a Catiline among any people, 
and in any clime, but nowhere will you find a Brutus, 
or the uncle of a Brutus. Let no foul word or sight 



intra quae pater est x ; procul, a procul inde puellae 45 

lenonum et cantus pernoctantis parasiti. 

maxima debetur puero reverentia, siquid 

turpe paras ; nee tu pueri contempseris annos, 

sed peccaturo obstet tibi filius infans. 

nam siquid dignum censoris fecerit ira 50 

quandoque et similem tibi se non corpore tantum 

nee vultu dederit, morum quoque filius, et qui 

omnia deterius tua per vestigia peccet, 

corripies nimirum et castigabis acerbo 

clamore ac post haec tabulas mutai'e parabis. 55 

unde tibi frontem libertatemque parentis, 

cum facias peiora senex vacuumque cerebro 

iam pridem caput hoc ventosa cucurbita quaerat ? 

Hospite venturo cessabit nemo tuorum. 
" verre pavimentum, nitidas ostende columnas, 60 
arida cum tota descendat aranea tela ; 
hie leve argentum, vasa aspera tergeat alter" : 
vox domini furit instantis virgamque tenentis. 
ergo miser trepidas, ne stercore foeda canino 
atria displiceant oculis venientis amici, 65 

ne perfusa luto sit porticus ; et tamen uno 
semodio scobis haec emendat servulus unus : 
illud non agitas, ut sanctam filius omni 
aspiciat sine labe domum vitioque carentem ? 
gratum est quod patriae civem populoque dedisti, 70 
si facis ut patriae 2 sit idoneus, utilis agris, 
utilis et bellorum et pacis rebus agendis. 
plurimum enim intererit quibus artibus et quibus 
hunc tu 

1 est Pi|/ : es Housm. after Cramer. 

2 patriae ^ : patria PS : Housm. conj. civis, 


cross the threshold within Avhich there is a father. 
Away with you, ye hireling damsels ! Away with 
the songs of the night-revelling parasite ! If you 
have any evil deed in mind, you owe the greatest 
reverence to the young ; disregard not your boy's ten- 
der years, and let your infant son stand in the way of 
the sin that you propose. For if some day or other 
he shall do a deed deserving the censor's wrath, and 
shall show himself like to you, not in form and face 
only, but also your child in vice, and following in all 
your footsteps with sin deeper than your own, you 
will doubtless rebuke him and chide him angrily 
and thereafter prepare to change your will. But how 
can you assume the grave brow and the free tone of 
a father if you in your old age are doing things 
worse than he did, and your own empty pate has 
long been needing the -windy cupping-glass? 

59 When you expect a guest, not one of your 
household will be idle. "Sweep the pavement! 
Polish up the pillars ! Down with that dusty spider, 
web and all ! One of you clean the plain silver, 
another the embossed vessels!" So shouts the 
master, standing over them whip in hand. And so you 
are afraid, poor fool, that the eyes of your expected 
guest may be offended by the sight of dog's filth in 
the hall or of a portico splashed with mud — things 
which one slave-boy can put right with half a peck 
of sawdust : and yet will you take no pains that your 
son may behold a stainless home, free from any stain 
and blemish? It is good that you have presented 
your country and your people with a citizen, if you 
make him serviceable to his country, useful for the 
land, useful for the things both of peace and war. 
For it will make all the difference in what practices, 



moribus instituas. serpente ciconia pullos 

nutrit et inventa per devia rura lacerta : 75 

illi eadem sumptis quaerunt animalia pinnis. 

vultur iumento et canibus crucibusque relictis 

ad fetus properat partemque cadaveris adfert : 

hie est ergo cibus magni quoque vulturis et se 

pascentis, propria cum iam facit arbore nidos. 80 

sed leporem aut capream famulae Iovis et generosae 

in saltu venantur aves, hinc pi-aeda cubili 

ponitur : inde autem cum se matura levavit 

progenies, stimulante fame festinat ad illam 

quam primum praedam rupto gustaverat ovo. 85 

Aedificator erat Cretonius et modo curvo 
litore Caietae, summa nunc Tiburis arce, 
nunc Praenestinis in montibus alta parabat 
culmina villarum graecis longeque petitis 
marmoribus vincens Fortunae atque Herculis 

aedem, 90 

ut spado vincebat Capitolia nostra Posides. 
dum sic ergo habitat Cretonius, inminuit rem, 
fregit opes, nee parva tamen mensura relictae 
partis erat : totam hanc turbavit Alius amens, 
dum meliore novas attollit marmore villas. 95 

Quidam sortiti metuentem sabbata patrem 
nil praeter nubes et caeli numen adorant, 
nee distare putant humana carne suillam, 
qua pater abstinuit, mox et praeputia ponunt ; 

1 There were great temples of Fortuna at Praeneste, of 
Hercules at Tibur. 

* A freedman of Claudius. 

3 The phrase caeli numen is hard to translate. What 
Juvenal means is that the Jews worshipped no concrete 
deity, such as could be pourtrayed, but only some impalpable 
mysterious spirit. They did not worship the sky or the 
heavens, but only the numen of the heavens. This is what 



in what habits, you bring him up. The stork feeds 
her young upon the serpents and the lizards which 
she finds in the wilds ; the young search for the 
same things when they have gotten to themselves 
wings. The vulture hurries from dead cattle and 
dogs and gibbets to bring some of the carrion to 
her offspring ; so this becomes the food of the vulture 
when he is full-grown and feeds himself, making his 
nest in a tree of his own. The noble birds that wait 
on Jove hunt the hare or the roe in the woods, and 
from them serve up prey to their eyrie ; so when 
their progeny are of full age and soar up from the 
nest, hunger bids them swoop down upon that 
same prey which they had first tasted when they 
chipped the shell. 

86 Cretonius was given to building ; now on Caieta's 
winding shore, now on the heights of Tibur, 
now on the Praenestine hills, he would rear lofty 
mansions, with marbles fetched from Greece and 
distant lands, outdoing the temples of Fortune and of 
Hercules 1 by as much as the eunuch Posides 2 over- 
topped our own Capitol. Housed therefore in this 
manner, he impaired his fortune and frittered away 
his wealth ; some goodly portion of it still remained, 
but it was all squandered by his madman of a son in 
building new mansions of still costlier marbles. 

96 Some who have had a father who reveres the 
Sabbath, worship nothing but the clouds, and the 
divinity of the heavens, 3 and see no difference be- 
tween eating swine's flesh, from which their father 
abstained, and that of man ; and in time they take 

Tacitus means when he says (Hist. v. 5) "The Jews worship 
with the mind alone." So Lucan. ii. 592-3 dedita sacris 
Incerti Judaea dei. 



Romanas autem soliti contemnere leges 100 

Iudaicum ediscunt et servant ac metuunt ius, 
tradidit arcano quodcumque volumine Moyses, 
non monstrare vias eadem nisi sacra colenti, 
quaesitum ad fontem solos deducere verpos. 
sed pater in causa, cui septima quaeque fuit lux 105 
ignava et partem vitae non attigit ullam. 

Sponte tamen iuvenes imitantur cetera, solam 
inviti quoque avaritiam exercere iubentur. 
fallit enim vitium specie virtutis et umbra, 
cum sit triste habitu vultuque et veste severum, 110 
nee dubie tamquam frugi laudetur avarus, 
tamquam parcus homo et rerum tutela suarum 
certa magis quam si fortunas l servet easdem 
Hesperidum serpens aut Ponticus. adde quod 

hunc de 
quo loquor egregium populus putat adquirendi 115 
artificem ; quippe his crescunt patrimonia fabris. 
sed crescunt quocumque modo, maioraque fiunt 
incude adsidua semperque ardente camino. 

Et pater ergo animi felices credit avaros ; 
qui miratur opes, qui nulla exempla beati ; 120 

pauperis esse putat, iuvenes hortatur ut ilia 
ire via pergant 2 et eidem incumbere sectae. 
sunt quaedam vitiorum elementa, his protinus illos 
inbuit et cogit minimas ediscere sordes ; 
mox adquirendi docet insatiabile votum. 125 

servorum ventres modio castigat iniquo 

1 PFGU have fortuna, other MSS. fortunas : Biich. (1910) 
reads a fortuna. 2 pergant ty : peragant P. 

i It is possible that this refers to the practice of baptism 
which had become usual among the Jews in the time of our 
Lord, as we see from the case of John the Baptist. 



to circumcision. Having been wont to flout the laws 
of Rome, they learn and practise and revere the 
Jewish law, and all that Moses committed to his 
secret tome, forbidding to point out the way to any 
not worshipping the same rites, and conducting none 
but the circumcised to the desired fountain. 1 For 
all which the father was to blame, who gave up every 
seventh day to idleness, keeping it apart from all the 
concerns of life. 2 

107 All vices but one the young imitate of their 
own free will; avarice alone is enjoined on them 
against the grain. For that vice has a deceptive 
appearance and semblance of virtue, being gloomy of 
mien, severe in face and garb. The miser is openly 
commended for his thrift, being deemed a saving 
man, who will be a surer guardian of his own wealth 
than if it Avere watched by the dragons of the Hes- 
perides or of Colchis. Moreover, such a one is 
thought to be skilled in the art of money-getting ; 
for it is under workers such as he that fortunes grow. 
And they grow bigger by every kind of means : the 
anvil is ever working, and the forge never ceases to 

119 Thus the father deems the miser to be fortunate ; 
and when he worships wealth, believing that no poor 
man was ever happy, he urges his sons to follow in 
the same path and to attach themselves to the same 
school. There are certain rudiments in vice ; in these 
he imbues them from the beginning, compelling them 
to study its pettiest meannesses ; after a while he 
instructs them in the inappeasable lust of money- 
getting. He pinches the bellies of his slaves with 

2 Tacitus also attributed the Sabbath to laziness ; and 
adds devn blandiente inertia septhnum quoque annum iqnaviae 
datum ( Hist. v. 4). 

2 73 


ipse quoque esuriens, neque enim omnia sustinet 

mucida caerulei panis consumere frusta, 
hesternum solitus medio servare minutal 
Septembri nee non differre in tempora cenae IdU 

alterius conehem aestivam cum parte lacerti 
signatam vel dimidio putrique siluro, 
filaque sectivi numerata includere porn, 
invitatus ad haec aliquis de ponte negabit. 
sed quo divitias haec per tormenta coactas, 1^0 

cum furor haut dubius, cum sit manifesta phrenesis, 
ut locuples moriaris, egentis vivere fato ? 
interea pleno cum target sacculus ore, 
crescit amor nummi quantum ipsa pecuma crevit, 
et minus hanc optat qui non habet. ergo paratur 140 
altera villa tibi, cum rus non sufficit unum, 
et proferre libet fines maiorque videtur 
et melior vicina seges, mercaris et hanc et 
arbusta et densa montem qui canet oliva. 
quorum si pretio dominus non vincitur ullo, 140 

nocte boves macri lassoque famehca collo 
iumenta ad virides huius mittentur anstas, 
nee prius inde domum quam tota novalia saevos 
in ventres abeant, ut credas falcibus actum, 
dicere vix possis quam multi talia plorent I0U 

et quot venales iniuria fecerit agros. 
' Sed qui sermones, quam foedae » bucina famae 1 
« quid nocet haec ? " inquit, « tunicam mihi malo 

quam si me toto laudet vicinia pago ^ 
exigui ruris paucissima farra secantem. ioo 

i negabit $ : negavit PS : negabal 0. 
2 crevit P : alii crescit. 
8 foedae ^ : foede FG. 



short rations, starving himself into the bargain ; for 
he cannot bear to eat up all the mouldy fragments 
of stale bread. In the middle of September he will 
save up the hash of yesterday; in summer-time he 
will preserve under seal for to-morrow's dinner a dish 
of beans, with a bit of mackerel, or half a stinking 
sprat, counting the leaves of the cut leeks before he 
puts them away. No beggar from a bridge would 
accept an invitation to such a meal ! But for what 
end do you pile up riches gathered through torments 
such as these, when it is plain madness and sheer 
lunacy to live in want that you may be wealthy when 
you die? Meantime, while your purse is full to 
bursting, your love of gain grows as much as the 
money itself has grown, and the man who has none 
of it covets it the least. And so when one country 
house is not enougli for you, you buy a second; 
then you must extend your boundaries, because your 
neighbour's field seems bigger and better than your 

T'V-iTt mUSt buy that t00 > and his vineyard, and 
the hill that is thick and grey with olive-trees. And 
if no price will persuade the owner to sell, you will 
send into his green corn by night a herd of lean and 
tarnished cattle, with wearied necks, who will not 
come home until they have put the whole crop into 
their ravenous bellies ; no sickle, could make a cleaner 
job ! How many bewail wrongs like these can scarce 
be told, nor how many fields have been brought to 
the hammer by such outrages. 

152 But what a talk there will be ! How loud the 
blast of evil rumour ! « What harm in that ? " you 
will say: "better keep my peapods for myself than 
have the praises of the whole country-side if I am 
to have but a small farm and a miserable crop." 

2 75 
t 2 


scilicet et morbis et debilitate carebis, 

etluctum et curam effugies, et tempora vitae 

longa tibi posthac fato meliore dabuntur, 

si tantum culti solus possederis agri 

quantum sub Tatio populus Romanus arabat. 160 

mox etiam fractis aetate ac Punica passis 

proelia vel Pyrrhum inmanem gladiosque Molossos 

tandem pro multis vix iugera bina dabantur 

vulneribus ; merces haec sanguinis atque laboris 

nullis visa umquam meritis minor, aut ingratae 165 

curta fides patriae ; saturabat glaebula talis 

patrem ipsum turbamque casae, qua feta iacebat 

uxor et infantes ludebant quattuor, unus 

vernula, tres domini ; sed magnis fratribus horum 

a scrobe vel sulco redeuntibus altera cena 170 

amplior et grandes fumabant pultibus ollae : 

nunc modus hie agri nostro non sufficit horto. 

Inde fere scelerum causae, nee plura venena 
miscuit aut ferro grassatur saepius ullum 
humanae mentis vitium quam saeva cupido 1 7 

tnmodici census, nam dives qui fieri vult, 
et cito vult fieri ; sed quae reverentia legum, 
quis metus aut pudor est umquam properantis avari? 
« vivite contenti casulis et collibus istis, 
o pueri," Marsus dicebat et Hernicus olim 180 

Vestinusque senex; "panem quaeramus aratro, 
qui satis est mensis ; laudant hoc numina runs, 
quorum ope et auxilio gratae post munus aristae 
contingunt homini veteris fastidia quercus. 



Yes ; and no doubt you will escape disease and 
weakness, you will have no sorrow, no trouble, you 
will have long and ever happier days, if only you 
are sole possessor of as many acres of good land as 
the Roman people tilled in the days of Tatius. In 
later times, Romans broken with old age, who had 
fought in the Punic battles or against the dread 
Pyrrhus or the swords of the Molossians, received at 
last, in return for all their wounds, a scanty two 
acres of land. None ever deemed such recompense 
too small fo* their service of toil and blood ; none 
spoke of a shabby, thankless country. A little plot 
like that would feed the father himself and the 
crowd at the cottage where lay the wife in child- 
bed, with four little ones playing around — one slave- 
born, three the master's own ; for their big brothers, 
on their return from ditch or furrow, a second and 
ampler supper of porridge would be smoking in a 
lordly dish. To-day we don't think such a plot of 
ground big enough for our garden ! 

173 It is here mostly that lies the cause of crime. 
No human passion has mingled more poison-bowls, 
none has more often wielded the murderous dagger, 
than the fierce craving for unbounded wealth. For 
the man who wants wealth must have it at once ; 
what respect for laws, what fear, what sense of shame 
is to be found in a miser hurrying to be rich ? " Live 
content, my boys, with these cottages and hills of 
yours," said the Marsian or Hernican or Vestinian 
father in the days of yore ; " let the plough win for 
us what bread shall suffice our table ; such fare the 
rustic Gods approve, whose aid and bounty gave us the 
glad ear of corn, and taught man to disdain the acorn 
of ancient times. The man who is not ashamed to 



nil vetitum fecisse volet quern non pudet alto 185 
per glaciem perone tegi, qui summovet Euros 
pellibus inversis : peregrina ignotaque nobis 
ad scelus atque nefas, quaecumque est, purpura duett.'' 

Haec illi veteres praecepta minoribus, at nunc 
post finem autumni media de nocte supinum 190 

clamosus iuvenem pater excitat : " accipe ceras, 
scribe, puer, vigila, causas age, perlege rubras 
maiorum leges, aut vitem posce libello. 
sed caput intactum buxo naresque pilosas 
adnotet et grandes miretur Laelius alas^ 195 

dirue Maurorum attegias, castella Brigantum, 
ut locupletem aquilam tibi sexagesimus annus 
adferat. aut longos castrorum ferre labores 
si piget et trepidum solvunt tibi cornua ventrem 
cum lituis audita, pares quod vendere possis 200 

pluris dimidio, nee te fastidia mercis 
ullius subeant ablegandae Tiberim ultra, 
neu credas ponendum aliquid discriminis inter 
unguenta et corium ; lucri bonus est odor ex re 
qualibet. ilia tuo sententia semper in ore 205 

versetur dis atque ipso love digna poeta : 
' unde habeas quaerit nemo, sed oportet habere.' 
hoc monstrant vetulae pueris repentibus assae, 
hoc discunt omnes ante alpha et beta puellae." 

Talibus instantem monitis quemcumque par- 
entem 210 

sic possem adfari : " die, o vanissime, quis te 
festinare iubet ? meliorem praesto magistro 

1 A powerful British tribe, occupying the greater part of 
England north of the Humber. 

2 i.e. the post of Senior Centurion (centurio primi pili), 
who had charge of the eagle of the legion. 



wear high boots in time of frost, and who keeps off 
the East wind with skins tm-ned inwards, will never 
wish to do a forbidden thing; it is purple raiment, 
whatever it be, foreign and unknown to us, that leads 
to crime and wickedness." 

189 Such were the maxims which those ancients 
taught the young ; but now, when autumn days are 
over, the father l-ouses his sleeping son after mid- 
night with a shout : " Awake, boy, and take your 
tablets ; scribble away and get up your cases ; read 
through the red-lettered laws of our forefathers, or 
send in a petition for a centurion's vine-staff*. See 
that Laelius notes your uncombed head and hairy 
nostrils, and admires your broad shoulders ; destroy 
the huts of the Moors and the forts of the Brigantes, 1 
that your sixtieth year may bring you the eagle 2 
that will make you rich. Or if you are too lazy to 
endure the weary labours of the camp, if the sound 
of horn and trumpet melts your soul within you, buy 
something that you can sell at half as much again ; 
feel no dissrust at a trade that must be banished to 
the other side of the Tiber ; make no distinction 
between hides and unguents : the smell of gain is 
good whatever the thing from which it comes. Lei 
this maxim be ever on your lips, a saying worthy of 
the Gods, and of Jove himself if he turned poet : 
' No matter whence the money comes, but money 
you must have.' " These are the lessons taught 
by skinny old nurses to little boys before they can 
walk ; this is what every girl learns before her 

210 To any father urging precepts such as these I 
would say this : " Tell me, O emptiest of men, who 
bids you hurry ? The disciple, I warrant you, will 



discipulum. securus abi : vinceris ut Aiax 
praeteriit Telamonem, ut Pelea vicit Achilles, 
parcendum est teneris, nondum implevere me- 
dullas 215 
maturae l mala nequitiae. cum pectere barbam 
coeperit et longae mucronem admittere cultri, 
falsus erit testis, vendet periuria summa 
exigua et Cereris tangens aramque pedemque. 
elatam iam crede nurum, si limina vestra 220 
mortifera cum dote subit. quibus ilia premetur 
per somnum digitis ! nam quae terraque marique 
adquirenda putas, brevior via conferet illi ; 
nullus enim magni sceleris labor. ' haec ego num- 

mandavi,' dices olim, <nec talia suasi.' 225 

mentis causa malae tamen est et origo penes te. 
nam quisquis magni census praecepit amorem 
et laevo monitu pueros producit avaros 
et qui per fraudes patrimonia conduplicari 2 
dat libertatem et totas effundit habenas 230 

curriculo, quern si revoces, subsistere nescit 
et te contempto rapitur metisque relictis. 
nemo satis credit tantum delinquere quantum 
permittas : adeo indulgent sibi latius ipsi. 

" Cum dicis iuveni stultum qui donet amico, 235 
qui paupertatem levet attollatque propinqui, 
et spoliare doces et circumscribere et omni 
crimine divitias adquirere ; quarum amor in te 
quantus erat patriae Deciorum in pectore, quantum 
dile.-dt Thebas, si Graecia vera, Menoeceus, 240 

1 maturae " quinque Rupertii": naturae Pi|/. 

2 After 229 Housm. inserts a conj. line, cum videant, cupiant 
sic et sua conduplicari. 

1 Slew himself to save Thebea. 


outstrip his master. You may leave him with an easy 
mind ; you will be outdone as surely as Telamon was 
beaten by Ajax, or Peleus by Achilles. Be gentle 
with the young ; their bones are not yet filled up 
with the marrow of ripe wickedness. When the lad 
begins to comb a beard, and apply to its length the 
razor's edge, he will give false testimony, he will 
sell his perjuries for a trifling sum, touching the 
altar and the foot of Ceres all the time. If your 
daughter-in-law brings a deadly dowry into the house, 
you may count her as already dead and buried. What 
a grip of fingers will throttle her in her sleep ! For 
the wealth which you think should be hunted for 
over land and sea, your son will acquire by a 
shorter road ; great crimes demand no labour. Some 
day you will say, 'I never taught these things, I 
never advised them ' : no, but you are yourself the 
cause and origin of your son's depravity ; for who- 
soever teaches the love of wealth turns his sons into 
misers by his ill-omened instruction. When he shows 
him how to double his patrimony by fraud, he gives 
him his head, and throws a free rein over the 
car ; try to call him back, and he cannot stop : he 
will pay no heed to you, he will rush on, leaving the 
turning-post far behind. No man is satisfied with 
sinning just as far as you permit : so much greater 
is the license which they allow themselves ! 

235 "When you tell a youth that a man is a fool who 
makes a present to a friend, or relieves and lightens 
the poverty of a kinsman, you teach him to plunder 
and to cheat and to commit any kind of crime for 
money's sake, the love of which is as great in you as 
was love of their country in the hearts of the Decii, 
or in that of Menoeceus, 1 if Greece speaks true 



in quorum sulcis legiones dentibus anguis 
cum clipeis nascuntur et horrida bella capessunt 
continue-, tamquam et tubicen surrexerit una. 
ergo ignem, cuius scintillas ipse dedisti, 
flagrantem late et rapientem cuncta videbis. 245 

nee tibi parcetur misero, trepidumque magistrum 
in cavea magno fremitu leo toilet alumnus, 
nota mathematicis genesis tua, sed grave tardas 
expectare colus ; morieris stamine nondum 
abrupto. iam nunc obstas et vota moraris, 250 

iam torquet iuvenem longa et cervina senectus. 
ocius Archigenen quaere atque erne quod Mithridates 
composuit ; si vis aliam decerpere ficum 
atque alias tractare rosas, medicamen habendum est, 
sorbere ante cibum quod debeat et pater et 
rex." 2o5 

Monstro voluptatem egregiam, cui nulla theatra, 
nulla aequare queas praetoris pulpita lauti, 
si spectes quanto capitis discrimine constent 
incrementa domus, aerata multus in area 
fiscus et ad vigilem ponendi Castora nummi, 260 

ex quo Mars Vltor galeam quoque perdidit et res 
non potuit servare suas. ergo omnia Florae 
et Cereris licet et Cybeles aulaea relinquas : 
tanto maiores humana negotia ludi. 
an magis oblectant animum iactata petauro 265 

corpora quique solet rectum descendere funem, 
quam tu, Corycia semper qui puppe moraris, 
atque habitas, Coro semper tollendus et Austro, 

1 Money was deposited in the temple of Castor, in the 

2 The temple of Mars Ultor, in the Forum Augusti, seems 
to have been burgled. 

3 i.e. the games. * Corycus. a town in Cilicia. 



for Thebes — that country in whose furrows armed 
legions sprang into life out of dragons' teeth, taking 
straightway to grim battle as though a bugler had 
also risen up along with them. Thus you will see 
the fire, whose sparks you yourself have kindled, 
blazing far and wide and carrying all before them. 
Nor will you yourself, poor wretch, meet with any 
mercy ; the pupil lion, with a loud roar, will devour the 
trembling instructor in his den. Your nativity, you 
say, is known to the astrologers : but it is a tedious 
thing to wait for the slow-running spindle, and you 
will die before your thread is snapped. You are already 
in your son's way; you are delaying his prayers ; your 
long and stag-like old age is a torment to the young 
man. Seek out Archigenes at once ; buy some of the 
mixture of Mithridates ; if you wish to pluck one 
more fig, and gather roses once again, you should have 
some medicament to be swallowed before dinner by 
one who is both a father and a king." 

256 I am showing you the choicest of diversions, 
one with which no theatre, no show of a grand 
Praetor can compare, if you will observe at what a 
risk to life men increase their fortunes, become pos- 
sessors of full brass-bound treasure-chests, or of the 
cash which must be deposited with watchful Castor, 1 
ever since Mars the Avenger lost his helmet and 
failed to protect his own effects. 2 So you may give 
up all the performances of Flora, of Ceres, and of 
Cybele 3 ; so much finer are the games of human 
life. Is there more pleasure to be got from gazing 
at men hurled from a spring-board, or tripping down 
a tight rope, than from yourself— you who spend your 
whole life in a Corycian 4 ship, ever tossed by the 
wind from North or South, a poor contemptible 



perditusac vilis 1 sacci mercator olentis, 

qui gaudes pingue antiquae de litore Cretae 270 

passum et municipes Iovis advexisse lagonas ? 

hie tamen ancipiti figens vestigia planta 

victum ilia mercede parat, brumamque famemque 

ilia reste cavet : tu propter mille talenta 

et centum villas temerarius. aspice portus 275 

et plenum magnis trabibus mare : plus hominum es 

in pelago. veniet classis quocumque vocarit 
spes lucrij nee Carpathium Gaetulaque tantum 
aequora transiliet, sed longe Calpe relicta 
audiet Herculeo stridentem gurgite solem. 280 

grande operae pretium est, ut tenso folle reverti 
inde domum possis tumidaque supei'bus aluta, 
Oceani monstra et iuvenes vidisse mai'inos. 

Non unus mentes agitat furor ; ille sororis 
in manibus vultu Eumenidum terretur et igni, 285 
hie bove percusso mugire Agamemnona credit 
aut Ithacum : parcat tunicis licet atque lacernis, 
curatoris eget qui navem mercibus implet 
ad summum latus et tabula distinguitur unda, 
cum sit causa mali tanti et discriminis huius 290 

concisum argentum in titulos faciesque minutas. 
occurrunt nubes et fulgura : " solvite funem " 
frumenti dominus clamat piperisve coempti, 
" nil color hie caeli, nil fascia nigra minatur ; 

1 ac vilis P etc.: a siculis ty: ac similis conj. Housm.: 
assiculis Biich. (1910). 

1 Because Zeus was born in Crete. 

2 The rock of Gibraltar. 3 i.e. Orestes. 



trafficker in stinking wares, finding your joy in im- 
porting sweet wine from the shores of ancient Crete, 
or flagons that were fellow-citizens of Jove ? l Yet 
the man who plants his steps with balanced foot gains 
his livelihood thereby; that rope keeps him from 
cold and hunger ; while you run the risk for the sake 
of a thousand talents or a hundred mansions. Look 
at our ports, our seas, crowded with big ships ! The 
men at sea now outnumber those on shore. Whither- 
soever hope of gain shall call, thither fleets will come ; 
not content with bounding over the Carpathian and 
Gaetulian seas, they will leave Calpe 2 far behind, 
and hear the sun hissing in the Herculean main. 
It is well worth while, no doubt, to have beheld the 
monsters of the deep and the young mermen of the 
Ocean that you may return home with tight-stuffed 
purse, and exult in your swollen money-bags ! 

284 Not all men are possessed with one form of 
madness. One 3 madman in his sister's arms is ter- 
rified by the faces and fire of the Furies ; another, 4 
when he strikes down an ox, believes that it is 
Agamemnon or the Ithacan 5 that is bellowing. The 
man who loads his ship up to the gunwale with 
goods, with only a plank between him and the deep, 
is in need of a keeper, though he keep his hands off 
his shirt and his cloak, seeing that he endures all 
that misery and all that danger for the sake of bits 
of silver cut up into little images and inscriptions! 
Should clouds and thunder threaten, " Let go ! " cries 
the merchant who has bought up corn or pepper, 
" that black sky, this dark wrack, are nought — it is 

4 i.e. Ajax, who went mad, slaughtering a flock of sheep 
in the belief that he was slaying Agamemnon and Ulysses. 
6 Ulyssea. 



aestivum tonat." infelix hac forsitan ipsa 295 

nocte cadet fractis trabibus fluctuque premetur 
obrutus et zonam laeva morsuque tenebit. 
sed cuius votis modo non suftecerat aurum 
quod Tagus et rutila volvit Pactolus harena, 
frigida sufficient velantes inguina panni 300 

exiguusque cibus, mersa rate naufragus assem 
dum rogat et picta se tempestate tuetur. 

Tantis parta malis cura maiore metuque 
servantur : misera est magni custodia census, 
dispositis praedives amis vigilare cohortem 305 

servorum noctu Licinus iubet, attonitus pro 
electro signisque suis Phrygiaque columna 
atque ebore et lata testudine. dolia nudi 
non ardent cynici ; si fregeris, altera net 
eras domus, atque eadem plumbo commissa mane- 
bit. 310 
sensit Alexander, testa cum vidit in ilia 
magnum habitatorem, quanto felicior hie qui 
nil cuperet quam qui totum sibi posceret orbem 
passurus gestis aequanda pericula rebus. 
nullum numen habes, si sit prudentia : nos te, 315 
nos facimus, Fortuna, deam. 1 

Mensura tamen quae 
sufficiat census, siquis me consulat, edam : 
in quantum sitis atque fames et frigora poscunt, 
quantum, Epicure, tibi parvis suffecit in hortis, 
quantum Socratici ceperunt ante penates ; 320 

numquam aliud natura, aliud sapientia dicit. 
acribus exemplis videor te cludere ? misce 
ergo aliquid nostris de moribus, effice summam 

1 The sentence nullum — deam, is repeated from x. 365, quite 

1 The gold-bearing river of Lydia. 2 Diogenes. 


but summer lightning." Poor wretch ! on this very 
night perchance he will be cast out amid broken 
timbers and engulfed by the waves, clutching his 
purse with his left hand or his teeth. The man for 
whose desires yesterday not all the gold which Tagus 
and the ruddy Pactolus x rolls along would have suf- 
ficed, must now content himself with a rag to cover 
his cold and nakedness, and a poor morsel of food, 
while he begs for pennies as a shipwrecked mariner, 
and supports himself by a painted storm ! 

303 Wealth gotten with such woes is preserved by 
fears and troubles that are greater still ; it is misery 
to have the guardianship of a great fortune. The 
millionaire Licinus orders a troop of slaves to be on 
the watch all night with fire buckets in their places, 
being anxious for his amber, his statues and Phry- 
gian marbles, his ivory and plaques of tortoise-shell. 
The nude Cynic 2 fears no fire for his tub ; if broken, 
he will make himself a new house to-morrow, or 
repair it with clamps of lead. When Alexander 
beheld in that tub its mighty occupant, he felt how 
much happier was the man who had no desires than 
he who claimed for himself the entire world, with 
perils before him as great as his achievements. Had 
we but wisdom, thou wouldst have no Divinity, O 
Fortune : it is we that make thee into a Goddess ! 

316 Yet if any should ask of me what measure of 
fortune is enough, I will tell him : as much as thirst, 
cold and hunger demand ; as much as sufficed you, 
Epicurus, in your little garden ; as much as in earlier 
days was to be found in the house of Socrates. Never 
does Nature say one thing and Wisdom another. Do 
the limits within which I confine you seem too severe ? 
Then throw in something from our own manners ; 



bis septem ordinibus quam lex dignatur Othonis. 
haec quoque si rugam trahit extenditque label- 

lum, 325 

sume duos equites, fac tertia quadringenta 
si nondum inplevi gremium, si panditur ultra, 
nee Croesi fortuna umquam nee Persica regna 
sufficient animo nee divitiae Narcissi, 
indulsit Caesar cui Claudius omnia, cuius 330 

paruit imperiis uxorem occidere iussus. 


Quis nescit, Volusi Bithynice, qualia demens 
Aegyptos portenta colat ? crocodilon adorat 
pars haec, ilia pavet saturam serpentibus ibin ; 
effigies sacri nitet aurea cercopitheci, 
dimidio magicae resonant ubi Memnone chordae 5 
atque vetus Thebe centum iacet obruta portis. 
illic aeluros, 1 hie piscem fluminis, illic 
oppida tota canem venerantur, nemo Dianam. 
porrum et caepe nefas violare et frangere morsu ; 
o sanctas gentes quibus haec nascuntur in hortis 10 
numina ! lanatis animalibus abstinet omnis 
mensa, nefas illic fetum iugulare capellae : 
carnibus humanis vesci licet, attonito cum 
1 aeluros Brod. : illic caeruhos y. 

1 See note on iii. 155. 

2 The most powerful and wealthiest of Claudius' freedmen. 

3 For the part played by Narcissus in securing the punish- 
ment of Messalina, see Tac. Ann. xi. 33-37. 



make up a sum as big as that which Otho's law 1 
deems worthy of the fourteen rows. If that also 
knits your brow, and makes you thrust out your lip, 
take a couple of knights, or make up thrice four 
hundred thousand sesterces ! If your lap is not yet 
full, if it is still opening for more, then neither the 
wealth of Croesus, nor that of the Persian Monarchs, 
will suffice you, nor yet that of Narcissus, 2 on whom 
Claudius Caesar lavished everything, and whose 
orders he obeyed when bidden to slay his wife. 3 


An Egyptian Atrocity 

Who knows not, O Bithynian Volusius, what mon- 
sters demented Egypt worships ? One district adores 
the crocodile, another venerates the Ibis that gorges 
itself with snakes. In the place where magic chords 
are sounded by the truncated Memnon/ and ancient 
hundred-gated Thebes lies in ruins, men worship 
the glittering golden image of the long-tailed ape. 
In one part cats are worshipped, in another a 
river fish, in another whole townships venerate a 
dog; none adore Diana, but it is an impious 
outrage to crunch leeks and onions with the teeth. 
What a holy race to have such divinities spring- 
ing up in their gardens! No animal that grows 
wool may appear upon the dinner-table; it is for- 
bidden there to slay the young of the goat; but 
it is lawful to feed on the flesh of man ! When 

* The famous statue of Memnon at Thebes, which emitted 
musical sounds at daybreak. 



tale super cenam facinus narraret Vlixes 

Alcinoo, bilem aut risum fortasse quibusdam 15 

moverat ut mendax aretalogus. " in mare nemo 

hunc abicit saeva dignum veraque Charybdi, 

fingentem inmanes Laestrygonas atque Cyclopas ? 

nam citius Scyllam vel concurrentia saxa 

Cyaneis plenos et tempestatibus utres 20 

crediderim aut tenui percussum verbere Circes 

et cum remigibus grunnisse Elpenora porcis. 

tarn vacui capitis populum Phaeaca putavit ? " 

sic aliquis merito nondum ebrius et minimum qui 

de Corcyraea temetum duxerat urna. 25 

solus enim haec Itbacus nullo sub teste canebat ; 

Nos miranda quidem, set nuper consule Iunco 1 
gesta super calidae refer emus moenia Copti, 
nos volgi scelus et cunctis graviora cotburnis ; 
nam scelus, a Pyrra quamquam omnia syrmata 

volvas, 30 

nullus aput tragicos populus facit. accipe, nostro 
dira quod exemplum feritas produxerit aevo. 

Inter finitimos vetus atque antiqua simultas, 
inmortale odium et numquam sanabile vulnus, 
ardet adhuc Ombos et Tentyra. summus utrimque 35 
inde furor volgo, quod numina vicinorum 
odit uterque locus, cum solos credat habendos 

1 iunco Bob.AU: iunpo P: iunio <|/. 

i King of the Phaeacians, to whom Ulysses narrated his 

adventures. , . . 

2 The clashing rocks {cvfj^Xyyades) at the mouth of the 

Bosporus. . , _. 

a One of the crew of Ulysses turned into a pig by Circe. 



Ulysses told a tale like this over the dinner-table 
to the amazed Alcinous, 1 he stirred some to wrath, 
some perhaps to laughter, as a lying story-teHer. 
"What?" one would say, "will no one hurl this 
fellow into the sea, who merits a terrible and a true 
Charybdis with his inventions of monstrous Laestry- 
gones and Cyclopes ? For I could sooner believe in 
Scylla, and the clashing Cyanean rocks, 2 and skins 
full of storms, or in the story how Circe, by a gentle 
touch, turned Elpenor 3 and his comrades into grunt- 
ing swine. Did he deem the Phaeacians people so 
devoid of brains ? " So might some one have justly 
spoken who was not yet tipsy, and had taken but a 
small drink of wine from the Corcyraean bowl, for 
the Ithacan's tale was all his own, with none to bear 
him witness. 

27 I will now relate strange deeds done of late in 
the consulship of Juncus, 4 beyond the walls of broil- 
ing Coptus ; a crime of the common herd, worse than 
any crime of the tragedians ; for though you turn 
over all the tales of long-robed Tragedy from the 
days of Pyrrha onwards, you will find there no crime 
committed by an entire people. But hear what an 
example of ruthless barbarism has been displayed in 
these days of ours. 

33 Between the neighbouring towns of Ombi and 
Tentyra 5 there burns an ancient and long-cherished 
feud and undying hatred, whose wounds are not to 
be healed. Each people is filled with fury against 
the other because each hates its neighbours' Gods, 
deeming that none can be held as deities save its 

4 Aemilius Juncus was consul in a.d. 127. This fixes the 
earliest date for this Satire. 

6 Ombi and Tentyra (now Dendyra), towns in Upper 



esse deos quos ipse colit. sed tempore festo 

alterius populi rapienda occasio cunctis 

visa inimicorum primoribus ac ducibus, ne 40 

laetum hilaremque diem, ne magnae gaudia cenae 

sentirent positis ad templa et compita mensis 

pervigilique toro, quem nocte ac luce iacentem 

Septimus interdum sol invenit. horrida sane 

Aegyptos, sed luxuria, quantum ipse notavi, 45 

barbava famoso non cedit turba Canopo. 

adde quod et facilis victoria de madidis et 

blaesis atque mero titubantibus. inde virorum 

saltatus nigro tibicine, qualiacumque 

unguenta et flores multaeque in fronte coronae : 50 

hinc ieiunum odium, sed iurgia prima sonare 

incipiunt. animis ardentibus haec tuba rixae ; 

dein clamore pari concurritur, et vice teli 

saevit nuda manus. paucae sine vulnere make ; 

vix cuiquam aut nulli toto certamine nasus 55 

integer, aspiceres iam cuncta per agmina vultus 

dimidios, alias facies et hiantia ruptis 

*ssa genis, plenos oculorum sanguine pugnos. 

ludere se credunt ipsi tamen et puerilis 

exercere acies, quod nulla cadavera calcent. 60 

et sane quo tot rixantis milia turbae, 

si vivunt omnes ? ergo acrior impetus, et iam 

saxa inclinatis per bumum quaesita lacertis 

incipiunt torquere, domestica seditioni 

tela : nee bunc lapidem, qualis et Turnus et Aiax, 65 

vel quo Tydides percussit pondere coxam 

1 A city in the Delta, near the W. mouth of the Nile. 


own. So when one of these peoples held a feast, 
the chiefs and leaders of their enemy thought good 
to seize the occasion, so that their foe might not 
enjoy a glad and merry day, with the delight of 
grand banquets, with tables set out at every temple 
and every crossway, and with night-long feasts, and 
with couches spread all day and all night, and some- 
times discovered by the sun upon the seventh morn. 
Egypt, doubtless, is a rude country ; but in indul- 
gence, so far as I myself have noted, its barbarous 
rabble yields not to the ill-famed Canopus. 1 Victory 
too would be easy, it was thought, over men steeped 
in wine, stuttering and stumbling in their cups. On 
the one side were men dancing to a swarthy piper, 
with unguents, such as they were, and flowers and 
chaplets on their heads ; on the other side, a ravenous 
hate. First come loud words, as preludes to the fray : 
these serve as a trumpet-call to their hot passions ; 
then shout answering shout, they charge. Bare hands 
do the fell work of war. Scarce a cheek is left with- 
out a gash ; scarce one nose, if any, comes out of the 
battle unbroken. Through all the ranks might be seen 
battered faces, and features other than they were ; 
bones gaping through torn cheeks, and fists dripping 
with blood from eyes. Yet the combatants deem 
themselves at play and waging a boyish warfare be- 
cause there are no corpses on which to trample. What 
avails a mob of so many thousand brawlers if no lives 
are lost ? So fiercer and fiercer grows the fight ; 
they now search the ground for stones — the natural 
weapons of civic strife — and hurl them with bended 
arms against the foe : not such stones as Turnus or 
Ajax flung, or like that with which the son of Tydeus 2 

* Diomedes. 



Aeneae, sed quem valeant emittere dextrae 

ill is dissiniiles et nostro tempore natae. 

nam genus hoc vivo iam decrescebat Homero ; 

terra malos homines nunc educat atque pusillos ; 70 

ergo deus quicumque aspexit, ridet et odit. 

A deverticulo repetatur fabula. postquam 
subsidiis aucti, pars altera pvomere ferrum 
audet et infestis pugnam instaurare sagittis. 
terga fugae x celeri praestant instantibus Ombis 75 
qui vicina colunt umbrosae Tentyra palmae. 
labitur hie quidam nimia formidine cursum 
praecipitans capiturque. ast ilium in plurima sectum 
frusta et particulas, ut multis mortuus unus 
sufficeret, totum corrosis ossibus edit 80 

victrix turba, nee ardenti decoxit aeno 
aut veribus : longum usque adeo tardumque putavit 
expectare tocos, contenta cadavere crudo. 

Hie gaudere libet quod non violaverit ignem, 
quem summa caeli raptum de parte Prometheus 85 
donavit terris ; elemento gratulor, et te 
exultare reor. sed qui mordere cadaver 
sustinuit, nil umquam hac carne libentius edit, 
nam scelere in tanto ne quaeras et dubites an 
prima voluptatem gula senserit ; ultimus autem 90 
qui stetit, absumpto iam toto corpore ductis 
per terrain digitis aliquid de sanguine gustat. 

Vascones, haec fama est, alimentis talibus olim 
produxere animas. sed res diversa, sed illic 

1 fugae POT : fuga if». The correct reading instantibus 
Ombis is preserved by only. 

1 A Spanish tribe N. of the Ebro ; their chief town, Cala- 
gurris, was reduced by Af ramus in B.C. 72, after the fall of 



struck Aeneas on the hip, but such as may be cast 
by hands unlike to theirs, and born in these days of 
ours. For even in Homer's day the race of man 
was on the wane ; earth now produces none but 
weak and wicked men that provoke such Gods as 
see them to laughter and to loathing. 

72 To come back from our digression : the one side, 
reinforced, boldly draws the sword and renews the 
fight with showers of arrows ; the dwellers in the 
shady palm-groves of neighbouring Tentyra turn 
their backs in headlong flight before the Ombite 
charge. Hereupon one of them, over-afraid and 
hurrying, tripped and was caught ; the conquering 
host cut up his body into a multitude of scraps and 
morsels, that one dead man might suffice for 
everyone, and devoured it bones and all. There was 
no stewing of it in boiling pots, no roasting upon 
spits ; so slow and tedious they thought it to wait 
for a fire, that they contented themselves with the 
corpse uncooked ! 

84 One may here rejoice that no outrage was done 
to the flame that Prometheus stole from the highest 
heavens, and gifted to the earth. I felicitate the 
element, and doubt not that you are pleased ; but 
never was flesh so relished as by those who endured 
to put that carcase between their teeth. For in that 
act of gross wickedness, do not doubt or ask whether 
it was only the first gullet that enjoyed its meal ; 
for when the whole body had been consumed, those 
who stood furthest away actually dragged their 
fingers along the ground and so got some smack of 
the blood. 

93 The Vascones, 1 fame tells us, once prolonged 
their lives by such food as this ; but their case was 



fortunae invidia est bellorumque ultima, casus 95 

extremi, longae dira obsidionis egestas ; 

huius enim, quod nunc agitur, miserabile debet 

exemplum esse cibi, sicut x modo dicta mihi gens : 

post omnis herbas, post cuncta animalia, quidquid 

cogebat vacui ventris furor, hostibus ipsis 100 

pallorem ac maciem et tenuis miserantibus artus, 

membra aliena fame lacerabant, esse parati 

et sua. quisnam hominum veniam dare quisve 

ventribus 2 abnueret dira atque inmania passis, 
et quibus illorum poterant ignoscere manes, 105 

quorum corporibus vescebantur ? melius nos 
Zenonis praecepta monent, nee enim omnia, quaedam 3 
pro vita facienda putant ; sed Cantab er unde 
Stoicus, antiqui praesertim aetate Metelli ? 
nunc totus Graias nostrasque habet orbis Athenas, 1 10 
Gallia causidicos docuit facunda Britannos, 
de conducendo loquitur iam rhetore Thyle. 
nobilis ille tamen populus quern diximus, et par 
virtute atque fide sed maior clade Zacynthos 
tale quid excusat : Maeotide saevior ara 115 

Aegyptos ; quippe ilia nefandi Taurica sacri 
inventrix homines (ut iam quae carmina tradunt 

1 Housm. reads tibi from G in place of cibi P^, and conj. 
si cui in place of sicut P^. 

2 So Housm., after Hadr. Vales.: PU have urbibus, and so 
Biich. and Owen : viribus \p. 

3 quaedam AGLT : P has quiclam : so Biich. and Housm. 

1 The founder of the Stoic school. 

2 The Vasconea were not Cantabrians, who were more to 
the W. 

3 Q. Caecilius Metellus conducted the war against Ser- 
torius, B.C. 79-72. 



different. Unkindly fortune had brought on them 
the last dire extremity of war, the famine of a long 
siege. In a plight like that of the people just named, 
resorting to such food deserves our pity, inasmuch 
as not till they had consumed every herb, every living 
thing, and everything else to which the pangs of an 
empty belly drove them — not till their very enemies 
pitied their pale, lean and wasted limbs — did hunger 
make them tear the limbs of other men, being ready 
to feed even upon their own. What man, what God, 
would withhold a pardon from bellies which had suf- 
fered such dire straits, and which might look to be 
forgiven by the Manes of those whose bodies they 
were devouring ? To us, indeed, Zeno T gives better 
teaching, for he permits some things, though not 
indeed all things, to be done for the saving of life ; 
but how could a Cantabrian 2 be a Stoic, and that too 
in the days of old Metellus? 3 To-day the whole 
world has its Greek and its Roman Athens ; eloquent 
Gaul has trained the pleaders of Britain, and distant 
Thule 4 talks of hiring a rhetorician. Yet the people 
I have named were a noble people ; and the people 
of Zacynthos, 5 their equals in bravery and honour, 
their more than equals in calamity, offer a like ex- 
cuse. But Egypt is more savage than the Maeotid 6 
altar; for if we may hold the poet's tales as time, 
the foundress of that accursed Tauric rite does but 

4 The most distant land or island to the N. ; possibly 
Shetland or Iceland. 

5 A poetic name for the Spanish town of Saguntum, sup- 
posed to have been founded from Zacynthus ; taken by 
Hannibal B.C. 218. 

6 The palus Maeotis was the sea of Azov : strangers were 
there sacrificed on the altar of the Tauric {i.e. Crimean) 



digna fide credas) tantum immolat, ulterius nil 

aut gravius cultro timet hostia. quis modo casus 

inpulit hos ? quae tanta fames infestaque vallo 120 

arma coegerunt tarn detestabile monstrum 

audere ? anne aliam terra Memphitide sicca 

invidiam facerent nolenti surgere Nilo ? 

qua nee terribiles Cimbri nee Brittones umquam 

Sauromataeque truces aut inmanes Agathyrsi, 125 

hac saevit rabie inbelle et inutile vulgus, 

parvula fictilibus solitum dare vela phaselis 

et brevibus pictae remis incumbere testae. 

nee poenam sceleri invenies nee digna parabis 

supplicia his populis, in quorum mente pares sunt 130 

et similes ira atque fames, mollissima corda 

humane- generi dare se natura fatetur, 

quae lacrimas dedit ; haec nostri pars optima sensus. 

plorare ergo iubet causam dicentis amici 

squaloremque rei, pupillum ad iura vocantem 135 

circumscriptorein, cuius manantia fletu 

ora puellares faciunt incerta capilli. 

naturae imperio gemimus, cum funus adultae 

virginis occurrit vel terra clauditur infans 

et minor igne rogi. quis enim bonus et face dignus 140 

arcana, qualem Cereris vult esse sacerdos, 

ulla aliena sibi credit mala ? separat hoc nos 

a grege mutorum, atque ideo venerabile soli 

sortiti ingenium divinorumque capaces 

atque exercendis pariendisque artibus apti 145 

sensum a caelesti demissum traximus arce, 

cuius egent prona et terram spectantia. mundi 

1 An uncertain tribe, placed by Herodotus in Transyl- 
vania. . . 
3 i.e. worthy of being initiated in the Eleusinian mysteries. 



slay her victims ; they have nought further or more 
terrible than the knife to fear. But what calamity 
drove these Egyptians to the deed ? What extremity 
of hunger, what beleaguering army, compelled them 
to so monstrous and infamous a crime ? Were the 
land of Memphis to run dry, could they do aught 
else than this to shame the Nile for being; loth to 
rise ? No dread Cimbrians or Britons, no savage 
Scythians or monstrous Agathyrsians, 1 ever raged 
so furiously as this unwarlike and worthless rabble 
that hoists tiny sails on crockery ships, and plies 
puny oars on boats of painted earthenware ! No 
penalty can you devise for such a crime, no fit pun- 
ishment for a people in whose minds rage and 
hunger are like and equal things. When Nature 
gave tears to man, she proclaimed that he was 
tender-hearted ; and tenderness is the best quality 
in man. She therefore bids us weep for the misery 
of a friend upon his trial, or when a ward whose 
streaming cheeks and girlish locks raise a doubt 
as to his sex brings a defrauder into court. It is 
at Nature's behest that we weep when we meet the 
bier of a full-grown maiden, or when the earth closes 
over a babe too young for the funeral pyre. For what 
good man, what man worthy of the mystic torch, 2 
and such as the priest of Ceres would wish him to 
be, believes that any human woes concern him not ? 
It is this that separates us from the dumb herd ; 
and it is for this that we alone have had allotted to 
us a nature worthy of reverence, capable of divine 
things, fit to acquire and practise the arts of life, 
and that we have drawn from on high that gift 
of feeling which is lacking to the beasts that 
grovel with eyes upon the ground. To them in the 



principio indulsit communis conditor illis 
tantum animas, nobis animum quoque, mntuus 

ut nos 
adfectus petere auxilium et praestare iuberet, 150 
dispersos trahere in populum, migrare vetusto 
de nemore et proavis habitatas linquere silvas, 
aedificare domos, laribus coniungere nostris 
tectum aliud, tutos vicino limine x somnos 
ut collata daret fiducia, protegere armis 155 

lapsum aut ingenti nutantem vulnere civem, 
communi dare signa tuba, defendier isdem 
turribus atque una portarum clave teneri. 

Sed iam serpentum maior concordia, parcit 
cognatis maculis similis fera ; quando leoni 160 

fortior eripuit vitam leo ? quo nemore uraquam 
expiravit aper maioris dentibus apri ? 
Indica tigris agit rabida cum tigride pacem 
perpetuam, saevis inter se convenit ursis. 
ast homini ferrum letale incude nefanda 165 

produxisse parum est, cum rastra et sarcula tantum 
adsueti coquere et man-is ac vomere lassi 
nescierint primi gladios extendere fabri, 
aspicimus populos quorum non sufficit irae 
occidisse aliquem, sed pectora bracchia voltum 170 
crediderint genus esse cibi. quid diceret ergo 
vel quo non fugeret, si nunc haec monstra videret 
Pythagoras, cunctis animalibus abstinuit qui 
tamquam homine et ventri indulsit non omne 
legumen ? 

1 limine 4> '• limite PA. 


beginning of the world our common maker gave 
only life ; to us he gave souls as well, that fellow- 
feeling might bid us ask or proffer aid, gather 
scattered dwellei's into a people, desert the primeval 
groves and woods inhabited by our forefathers, build 
houses for ourselves, with others adjacent to our 
own, that a neighbour's threshold, from the confi- 
dence that comes of union, might give us peaceful 
slumbers ; shield with arms a fallen citizen, or one 
staggering from a grievous wound, give battle signals 
by a common trumpet, and seek protection inside 
the same city walls, and behind gates fastened by 
a single key. 

109 But in these days there is more amity among 
serpents than among men ; wild beasts are merciful 
to beasts spotted like themselves. When did the 
stronger lion ever take the life of the weaker ? In 
what wood did a boar ever breathe his last under 
the tusks of a boar bigger than himself ? The fierce 
tigress of India dwells in perpetual peace with her 
fellow ; bears live in harmony with bears. But man 
finds it all too little to have forged the deadly blade 
on an impious anvil ; for whereas the first artificers 
only wearied themselves with forging hoes and har- 
rows, spades and ploughshares, not knowing how to 
beat out swords, we now behold a people whose 
wrath is not assuaged by slaying someone, but who 
deem that a man's breast, arms, and face afford a 
kind of food. What would Pythagoras say, or to 
what place would he not flee, if he beheld these 
horrors of to-day, — he who refrained from every 
living creature as if it were human, and would not 
indulge his belly with every kind of vegetable ? 




Quis numerare queat felicis praemia, Galli, 
militiae ? nam si subeuntur prospera castra, 
me pavidum excipiat tironem porta secundo 
sidere. plus*etenim fati valet hora benigni 
quam si nos Veneris commendet epistula Marti 5 
et Samia genetrix quae delectatur harena. 

Commoda tractemus primum communia, quorum 
haut minimum illud erit, ne te pulsare togatus 
audeatj immo etsi pulsetur, dissimulet nee 
audeat excussos praetori ostendere dentes 10 

et nigram in facie tumidis livoribus offam 
atque oculum medico nil promittente relictum. 
Bardaicus iudex datur haec punire volenti 
calceus et grandes magna ad subsellia surae 
legibus antiquis castrorum et more Camilli 15 

servato, miles ne vallum litiget extra 
et procul a signis. " iustissima centurionum 
cognitio est igitur 1 de milite, nee mihi derit 
ultio, si iustae defertur causa querellae." 
tota cohors tamen est inimica, omnesque manipli 20 
consensu magno efficiunt curabilis ut sit 
vindicta et gravior quam 2 iniuria. dignum erit ergo 
declamatoris mulino corde Vagelli, 
cum duo crura habeas, offendere tot caligas, tot 

1 For the iyitar of P>|/ Housm. reads inquis. 

2 quam Pi^ : Biicli. (1910) conj. turn. 





The Immunities of the Military 

Who can count up, Gallius, all the prizes ol 
prosperous soldiering ? I would myself pray to be a 
trembling recruit if I could but enter a favoured 
camp under a lucky star : for one moment of be- 
nignant fate is of more avail than a letter of com- 
mendation to Mars from Venus, or from his mother, 1 
who delights in the sandy shore of Samos. 

7 Let us first consider the benefits common to all 
soldiers, of which not the least is this, that no 
civilian will dare to thrash you; if thrashed him- 
self, he must hold his tongue, and not venture 
to exhibit to the Praetor the teeth that have been 
knocked out, or the black and blue lumps upon his 
face, or the one eye left which the doctor holds out no 
hope of saving. If he seek redress, he has appointed 
for him as judge a hob-nailed centm-ion with a row 
of jurors with brawny calves sitting before a big 
bench. For the old camp law and the rule of 
Camillus still holds good which forbids a soldier to 
attend court outside the camp, and at a distance 
from the standards. " Most right and proper it is," 
you say, " that a centurion should pass sentence on 
a soldier ; nor shall I fail of satisfaction if I make 
good my cass." But then the whole cohort will be 
your enemies ; all the maniples will agree as one man 
in applying a cure to the redress you have received by 
giving you a thrashing which shall be worse than the 
first. So, as you possess a pair of legs, you must have 
a mulish brain worthy of the eloquent Vagellius to 
provoke so many jack-boots, and all those thousands 



milia clavorum. quis tarn procul absit ab urbe 25 

praeterea, quis tarn Pylades, molem aggeris ultra 

ut veniat? lacrimae siccentur protinus, et se 

excusaturos non sollicitemus amicos. 

"da testem " iudex cum dixerit, audeat ille 

nescio quis, pugnos qui vidit, dicere " vidi," 30 

et credam dignum barba dignumque capillis . 

maiorum. citius falsum producere testem 

contra paganum possis quam vera loquentem 

contra fortunam armati contraque pudorem. 

Praemia nunc alia atque alia emolumenta note- 
mus 3o 

sacramentorum. convallem ruris aviti 
improbus aut campum mibi si vicinus ademit 
' et sacrum effodit medio de limite saxum, 
quod mea cum patulo coluit puis annua libo, 
debitor aut sumptos pergit non reddere nummos 40 
vana supervacui dicens chirograpba ligni, 
expectandus erit qui lites inchoet annus 
totius populi. sed tunc quoque mille ferenda 
taedia, mille morae ; totiens subsellia tantum 
stei-nuntur, iam facundo ponente lacernas 45 

Caedicio et Fusco iam micturiente parati 
digredimur, lentaque fori pugnamus harena. 
ast illis quos arma tegunt et balteus ambit, 
quod placitum est ipsis praestatur tempus agendi 
nee res atteritur longo sufflamine litis. 50 

Solis praeterea testandi militibus ius 
vivo patre datur. nam quae sunt parta labore 

1 The inseparable friend of Orestes. 


of hobnails. And besides who would venture so far 
from the city ? Who would be such a Pylades l as 
to go inside the rampart ? Better dry your eyes at 
once, and not importune friends who will but make 
excuses. When the judge has called for witnesses, 
let the man, whoever he be, who saw the assault 
dare to say, " I saw it," and I will deem him worthy 
of the beard and long hair of our forefathers. Sooner 
will you find a false witness against a civilian than 
one who will tell the truth against the interest and 
the honour of a soldier. 

35 And now let us note other profits and per- 
quisites of the service. If some rascally neighbour 
have filched from me a dell or a field of my ancestral 
estate, and have dug up, from the mid point of my 
boundary, the hallowed stone which I have honoured 
every year with an offering of flat cake and porridge ; 
or if a debtor refuses to repay the money that he 
has borrowed, declaring that the signatures are false, 
and the document null and void : I shall have to wait 
for the time of year when the whole world begin 
their suits, and even then there will be a thousand 
wearisome delays. So often does it happen that when 
only the benches have been set out — when the elo- 
quent Caecilius is taking off his cloak, and Fuscus 
has gone out for a moment — though everything is 
ready, we disperse, and fight our battle after the 
dilatory fashion of the courts. But the gentlemen 
who are armed and belted have their cases set down 
for whatever time they please ; nor is their substance 
worn away by the slow drag-chain of the law. 

51 Soldiers alone, again, have the right to make 
their wills during their fathers' lifetime ; for the 
law ordains that money earned in military service 



militiae, placuit non esse in corpore census, 
omne tenet cuius regimen pater, ergo Coranum 
signorum comitem castrorumque aera merentem 55 
quamvis iam tremulus captat pater ; hunc favor 

provehit et pulchro reddit sua dona labori. 
ipsius certe ducis hoc referre videtur 
ut qui fortis erit, sit felicissimus idem, 
ut laeti phaieris omnes et torquibus, omnes 60 



is not to be included in the property which is in 
the father's sole control. This is why Coranus, who 
follows the standards and earns soldier's pay, is 
courted by his own father, though now tottering 
from old age. The son receives the advancement 
that is his due, and reaps the recompense for his 
own good services. And indeed it is the interest 
of the General that the most brave should also be 
the most fortunate, and that all should have medals 
and necklets to be proud of. 

The Satire breaks off here. 

x 2 




Nec fonte labra proiui caballino 
nee in bicipiti somniasse Parnaso 
memini, ut repente sic poeta prodirem. 
Heliconidasque pallidamque Pivenen 
illis remittor quorum imagines lambunt 5 

hederae sequaces : ipse semipaganus 
ad sacra vatum carmen adfero nostrum, 
quis expedivit psittaco suum chaere, 
picamque docuit verba nostra conari ? 
magister artis ingenique largitor 10 

venter, negatas artifex sequi voces ; 
quod si dolosi spes refulserit nummi, 
corvos poetas et poetridas picas 
cantare credas Pegaseium nectar. 

1 The inspiring spring Hippocrene, struck out by the 
hoof of Pegasus, on the top of Mt. Helicon. 

2 i.e. the Muses. 

3 Pirene also was an inspiring spring near Corinth, called 
' ' pale " because poets were supposed to become pale from 




I never soused my lips in the Nag's Spring; 1 
never, that I can remember, did I dream on the 
two-topped Parnasus, that I should thus come forth 
suddenly as a poet. The maidens 2 of Mount 
Helicon, and the blanching waters of Pirene, 3 I 
give up to the gentlemen round whose busts the 
clinging ivy 4 twines ; it is but as a half-member 5 of 
the community that I bring my lay to the holy feast 
of the bards. Who made it so easy for the parrot 
to chirp his "good morrow"? 6 Who taught the 
magpie to ape the language of man ? It was that 
master of the arts, that dispenser of genius, the 
Belly, who has a rare skill in getting at words which 
are not his own. If only the enticing hope of money 
were to flash upon them, you would believe that 
raven poets and magpie poetesses were singing the 
pure nectar of the muses. 

4 The busts of poets were crowned with chaplets of ivy : 
doctarum hederae praemia frontium, Hor. Od. I. i. 29. 

5 Referring to the feast of the Paganalia common to all 
pagani, i.e. members of the village community (pagus). 
Persius calls himself a half-outsider as compared with pro- 
fessional poets. 6 i.e the Greek x a ~ l P e - 

3' 1 


This whole satire is an attack on the corruption of 
literature and literary taste in Rome, as a sign and 
accompaniment of a similar corruption in morals. 

The poem takes the form of a dialogue between 
Persius and a Friend. Persius recites a line (possibly 
from Lucilius) which looks like the beginning of a 
poem. " Who will read stuff like that ? " asks the 
Friend. "Well/' says Persius, "what does that mat- 
ter ! The opinion of thick-headed Rome isn't worth 
a d — n ! If only I could say what I think ! But 
when I look at our gloomy way of living, and our 
affectation of morality, I feel that I must have my 
laugh out (1-12). Just look at the foppery and 
ostentation of our public recitations, and the licen- 
tious character of the things recited " (13-23). 

F. " But surely you must allow our young poets to 
show their learning and give their genius a vent?" 

P. " Learning, indeed ! as if knowledge were of no 
use unless other people know that you possess it ! " 

F. "But you cannot deny the charm of being 
praised and of hearing people say 'That's the 
man ! ' " (28-30). 

P. " And what kind of praise do they win ? Listen 
to the mawkish stuff poured forth at dinner tables, 
and the applause given to it by the well-filled guests. 
How grand and soul-sufficing ! " (30-40). 



F. " You are very nasty with your gibes. Do you 
suppose that any one is so indifferent to fame that 
he would not care to be ranked among the immor- 
tals ? " (40-43). 

P. " Certainly not. I value praise justly bestowed 
as much as any man ; but I decline to accept the ver- 
dict of guests whose favour has been secured by gifts 
of old clothing and good viands. You say you want 
the truth ? then let me tell it you : you are a mere 
twaddler, happy only in this that, unlike Janus, you 
cannot see the gibes made at you behind your 
back " (44-62). 

F. " Anyhow the public are enchanted. Never, 
they say, did poets write more smoothly and correctly, 
or handle great themes more nobly" (63-68). 

P. " Yes, indeed ! To-day we find heroic themes 
attempted by men who cannot describe the simplest 
scenes of country life Avithout committing absurdities. 
Others have a mania for archaisms ; and what can 
be more artificial than our rhetoric? An advocate 
cannot defend a man on his trial for some crime 
without using all the embellishments of the schools ! 
He is like the shipwrecked mariner who appeals to 
you by a song" (69-91). 

F. " But you will at least grant that our modern 
Muse has grace and polish ? " (92). 

P. " Grace and polish indeed ! Let me quote 
some instances of your modern polish . . . What would 
Virgil have said of turgid and frothy stuff like that ? 
Now please give me some instances of the tender 
languishing style " (93-98). 

(Then follow four lines of furious magniloquent 
bombast, quoted admiringly by P.'s interlocutor 

3 J 3 


P. "Whew! what nerveless sputtering trash! 
Not one sign there of real honest work ! " 

F. " But why vex delicate ears with biting truths 
like these ? See that the doors of your great friends 
are not closed to you after this. Beware of the 
dog!" (107-110). 

P. "Well! Well! Have your way. Put up a 
notice — ' No nuisance here/ and I'll be off. But Lu- 
cilius had his say out, sparing no man ; Horace spoke 
out his mind with well-spiced pleasantry ; and am I to 
keep my mouth shut ? am I not to divulge my secret 
to any one, not even to a ditch ? Nay, here is a ditch, 
and I will dig it in: f All the world are fools.' This 
little secret joke of mine I will not sell you for all 
your Iliads! "(110-1 23). 

" No : let me have for hearers all you that have 
drawn an inspiring breath from Cratinus, and Eupolis, 
and the Grand Old Man ; I care not for the fry 
that love to vent their wit upon the slippers of the 
Greeks, nor for the puffed-up local magnate who 
jeers at a one-eyed man, nor for the man who flouts 
philosophers and thinks it a fine joke to see a saucy 
wench pluck a cynic by the beard. Let these enjoy 
the pleasures they deserve ! " (123-134). 

The first satire of Persius seems to have furnished 
a pattern for the first satire of Juvenal. In each 
case the poet begins by an attack on the character 
of his own age, Persius laying stress upon the cor- 
ruption of literature, Juvenal upon that of morals as 
a whole. In each case a friend warns the poet of 
the dangers of such an attack. Both poets justify 
themselves by the example of Lucilius, and his free- 



spoken attacks upon his contemporaries. Persius 
rejects all appeal to the depraved opinion of his own 
time, and asks for readers who have caught the spirit 
of the masters of the old Greek comedy ; Juvenal 
promises to spare the living and to confine his 
attacks to the dead. 



"0 curas hominum, o quantum est in rebus inane ! " 
"quis leget haec ? " "min tu istud ais ? nemo her- 

cule." (f nemo?" 
"vel duo vel nemo.'' "turpe et miserabile!" 

" quare ? 
ne mihi Polydamas et Troiades Labeonem 
praetulerint ? nugae. non, si quid turbida Roma 5 
elevet, accedas examenque improbum in ilia 
castiges trutina, nee te quaesiveris extra, 
nam Romae l quis non — ah, si fas dicere — sed fas 
tunc cum ad canitiem et nostrum istud vivere 2 triste 
aspexi ac nucibus facimus quaecumque relictis, 10 
cum sapimus patruos ; tunc tunc ignoscite ; (nolo : 
quid faciam ? sed sum petulanti splene) cachinno. 

1 The MSS. read Romae est or Romaest for Romae, and 
ae for a or ah. 

2 The use of the Infinitive as a Noun is a special charac- 
teristic of Persius. So scire tuum (1. 27), ridere meum (1. 122), 
pap-pare minutum (iii. 17), etc. 

1 Polydamas is from Homer (7Z. xxii. 104-5). Polydamas 
and the high-born Roman ladies are supposed to represent 
the opinions of the respectable Mrs. Grundys of the day. 
Attius Labeo was a poor poet of the time, said to have trans- 
lated Homer. 



P. " O the vanity of mankind ! How vast the 
void in human affairs ! " 

F. " Who will read stuff like that ? " 

P. " Is it to me you are speaking ? Not a soul, 
by Hercules." 

F. "What? nobody?" 

P. " One or two perhaps or nobody." 

F. " What a poor and lamentable result ! " 

P. « Why that ? Are you afraid that Polydamas 
and his Trojan ladies 1 will put Labeo above me ? 
Stuff and nonsense ! And if thick-headed Rome 
does disparage anything, don't you go and put 
right the tongue in that false balance of theirs ; 
look to no one outside yourself. For who is there 
in Rome who is not 2 — oh, if only I might say my 
secret! — and yet say it I must, when I look at 
these gray heads of ours, and our gloomy ways of 
living, and indeed everything that we have been 
doing since the days when we gave up our marbles, 
and put on the wise airs of uncles. So please 
forgive me ! I would rather not say it — but what 
else can I do ? — I have a wayward wit and must 
have my laugh out. 

2 The secret is that ever}' one is an ass, see 1. 121. For 
the passage 8-12 I follow the punctuation and explanation 
given by Professor Housman {C.Q. Jan. 1913). Cachinno is a 
verb, "I laugh"; it has been commonly taken as a substan- 
tive (" a laugher "), but for this there is no authority. 



" Scribimus inclusi, numeros ille, hie pede liber, 
grande aliquid, quod pulmo animae praelargus anhelet. 
scilicet haec populo pexusque togaque recenti 15 

et natalicia tandem cum sardonyche albus 
sede leges celsa, liquido cum plasmate guttur 
mobile conlueris, patranti fractus ocello. 
tunc neque more probo videas nee voce serena 
ingentis trepidare Titos, cum carmina lumbum 20 
intrant et tremulo scalpuntur ubi intima versu. 
tun, vetule, auriculis alienis colligis escas, 
auriculis, 1 quibus et dicas cute perditus f ohe ' ? " 
" quo didicisse, nisi hoc fermentum et quae semel intus 
innata est rupto iecore exierit caprificus? 25 

en pallor seniumque ! " " o mores, usque adeone 
scire tuum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sciat alter ? " 
"at pulchrum est digito monstrari et dicier <hic est' ; 
ten cirratorum centum dictata fuisse 
pro nihilo pendes ? " 2 " ecce inter pocula quaerunt 30 

1 Professor Housman adopts Madvig's conjecture of 
articulis for auriculis, and translates "What? catering at 
your age for others' ears with cates which yon, disabled with 
gout and dropsy, must forgo?" (Classical Quarterly, Jan. 
1913, p. 14. Subsequent references to Professor Housman 
are to be found in this article.) 2 pendas aP 2 . 

1 Titos for Titienses, one of the three original Roman 
tribes, ironically applied to those who prided themselves on 
their ancient Roman descent. Similarly used are Troiades 
in 1. 4, Bomulidae, 1. 31, and Bhamnes in Hor. A. P. 342. 

2 The ferment of poetic inspiration longing for a vent is 



13 -.< We shut ourselves up and write something 
grand — one in verse, one in prose— something that 
will take a vast amount of breath to pant out. This 
stuff you will some day read aloud to the public, 
having first lubricated your throat with an emollient 
wash ; you will take your seat on a high chair, well 
combed, in a new white robe, and with a rakish leer 
in your eye, not forgetting a birthday sardonyx gem 
on your finger. Thereupon, as the thrilling strains 
make their way into the loins, and tickle the inward 
parts, you may see the burly sons of Rome, 1 quiver- 
ing in no seemly fashion, and uttering no seemly 
words. What, you old reprobate? Do you cater 
for other people's wanton ears ? — ears to which, 
however hardened your hide, you might fain cry 
'hold, enough!' " 

F. "But what avail study and learning if the 
yeast, and the Avild fig-tree 2 which has sprung up 
within, are never to break through the bosom and 
come forth ? See our pallid cheeks and aged looks ! " 3 

P. " Good heavens ! Is all your knowledge to 
go so utterly for nothing unless other people know 
that you possess it ? " 

F. " O but it is a fine thing to have a finger pointed 
at one, and to hear people say, f That's the man ' ' 
Would you yourself deem it of no account to have 
been conned as a task by a hundred curly-headed 
urchins? " 

P. " See, now, the sons of Romulus, having well 

compared to the sturdy shoot of the wild fig-tree, which finds 
its way through masonry and dislodges even solid stones 
(Juv. x. 143). 

3 These words refer to the canities, etc., ridiculed in 1. 9 
which the Friend accounts for by the hard work of the poet! 
Some give these words to Persius, with an ironical meaning.' 



Romulidae saturi, quid dia poemata narrent ; 
hie aliquis, cui circum umeros hyacinthina laena est, 
rancidulum quiddam balba de nare locutus 
Phyllidas, Hypsipylas, vatum et plorabile siquid, 
eliquat ac tenero subplantat verba palato. 35 

adsensere viri : nunc non cinis ille poetae 
felix ? non levior cippus nunc inprimit ossa ? 
laudant convivae : nunc non e manibus illis, 
nunc non e tumulo fortunataque favilla 
nascentur violae ?" "rides," ait, "et nimis uncis 40 
naribus indulges, an erit qui velle recuset 
os populi meruisse et cedro digna locutus 
linquere nee scombros metuentia carmina nee tus?" 
"Quisquis es, o modo quern ex adverso dicere feci, 
non ego cum scribo, si forte quid aptius exit, 45 

quando haec rara avis est, si quid taraen aptius exit, 
laudari metuam ; neque enim mihi cornea fibra est. 
sed recti finemque extremumque esse recuso 
f euge' tuum et 'belle.' nam ' belle' hoc excutetotum: 
quid non intus habet ? non hie est Ilias Atti 50 

ebria veratro ? non siqua elegidia crudi 
dictarunt proceres ? non quidquid denique lectis 
scribitur in citreis ? calidum scis' ponere sumen, 
scis comitem horridulum trita donare lacerna, 

1 i.e. some sentimental ditty taken from heroic times; 
there may be an allusion to the Heroides of Ovid. 

2 Referring to the simple prayer often inscribed over tht 
ashes of the dead, sit tibi terra levis (S.T.T.L.). 

3 A clear imitation of Cat. xcv. 7, and Hor. Epp. II. i. 269, 
alluding to the uses of waste paper. 

4 No doubt the Attius Labeo of 1. 4. 



dined, are asking over their cups, * What lias divine 
poesy to say'? Whereupon some fellow with a 
purple mantle round his shoulders lisps out with a 
snuffle some insipid trash about a Phyllis or a 
Hypsipyle l or some other dolorous poetic theme, 
mincing his words, and letting them trip daintily 
over his palate. The great men signify their ap- 
proval ; will notyour poet's ashes be happy now? 
will not the grave-stone press more lightly upon his 
bones ? 2 The lesser guests chime in with their 
assent : will not violets now spring up from those re- 
mains, from the tomb and its thrice-blessed ashes ? " 
F. "You are scoffing, and use your turned-up 
nose too freely. Do you mean to tell me that any 
man who has uttered words worthy of cedar oil 
will disown the wish to have earned a place in the 
mouths of men, and to leave behind him poems that 
will have nothing to fear from mackerel or from 
spice ? " 3 

44 p « Well, my friend, whoever you are whom I 
have set up to speak on the opposing side, I am the 
last man, if by chance when writing I let fall some- 
thing good (rare bird as that would be), I am the last 
man, I say, to be afraid of praise. My heart is not 
made of horn ! But I decline to admit that the final 
and supreme test of excellence is to be found in your 
' Bravo ! ' and your •' Beautiful ! ' Just sift out all 
those 'Bravos': what do they not contain? Will 
you not find there the bedrugged Iliad of Attius, 4 
and all the love-ditties spouted by your grandees 
while digesting their dinners — all the stuff in short 
that is scribbled on couches of citron-wood ? You 
know how to serve up a sow's paunch piping hot : 
you know how to present a shivering client with a 



et < verum ' inquis f amo, verum mihi dicite de me.' 55 

qui pote ? vis dicam ? nugaris, cum tibi, calve, 

pinguis aqualiculus propenso 1 sesquipede extet. 

o lane, a tergo quern nulla ciconia pinsit, 

nee manus auriculas imitari mobilis albas, 

riec linguae quantum sitiat canis Apula tantum ! 2 60 

vos, o patricius sanguis, quos vivere fas est 

occipiti caeco, posticae occurrite sannae. 

quis populi sermo est ? " " quis enim, nisi carmina 

nunc demum numero fluere, ut per leve severos 
effundat iunctura ungues ? scit tendere versurn 65 
non secus ac si oculo rubricam derigat uno. 
sive opus in mores, in luxum, in prandia regum 
dicere, res grandes nostro dat Musa poetae." 
" ecce modo heroas sensus adferre videmus 3 
nugari solitos graece, nee ponere lucum 70 

artifices nee rus saturum laudare, ubi corbes 
et focus et porci et fumosa Palilia faeno, 
unde Remus sulcoque terens dentalia, Quinti. 

1 propenso PA 2 L : protenso E : protenlo Prise. 

2 tantum L 2 : tante EPL 1 . 

s videmus ABP 2 : docemus EP 1 . 


These lines, again, are closely imitated from Hor. Epp. I. 

K *' Janus, having two faces [bifrons), could not be ridiculed 

from behind. , . . 

3 A metaphor from the art of the sculptor, who passes his 
nail along the surface to make sure that there is no inequality. 

4 The Palilia or Parilia were celebrated on the 21st of 



threadbare cloak, 1 and then you say, 'I love the 
Truth; tell me the truth about myself!' How 
can the man do that ? Would you like me to tell 
you the truth ? You are just a fool, you old bald- 
pate, with that pot-belly of yours sticking out a foot 
and a half in front of you ! O happy Janus, who 
cannot be pecked at from behind by a stork, nor 
mocked by a hand nimble at mimicking white 
donkey-ears ; at whom no tongue can be thrust out 
as far as that of a thirsty Apulian hound ! O ye 
blue-blooded patricians, you who have to live without 
eyes in the back of your head, turn round and face 
the gibing in your rear ! 2 And what does the town 
say ? " 

F. « Why what else but this— that now at last we 
have verses flowing smoothly along, so that the 
critical nail 3 glides unjarred over the joinings. Our 
poet knows how to draw his lines as straight as if 
he were directing a ruddle cord with one eye shut. 
Whatever be his theme : whether it be the morals 
and luxury of the times, or the banquets of the great, 
the Muse furnishes him with the lofty style." 

P. " Yes ; and so we now see heroics produced 
by men who have been used to trifle over Greek 
verses — men who have not art enough to describe 
a grove, or commend the abundance of country 
life, with its baskets and its hearths, with its pigs 
and the smoking hay-heaps of the Palilia ; 4 out 
of which emerges Remus, and thou, Cincinnatus, 5 
polishing thy share-beam against the furrow, and 

April, the supposed birthday of Rome. Part of the ceremony 
or sport of the day was to jump over burning heaps of hay. 

5 L. Quintus Cincinnatus. Alluding to the well-known 
story of his being saluted as Dictator on coming home from 
the plough. 

Y 2 


cum x trepida ante boves dictatorem induit uxor 

et tua aratra domum lictor tulit : euge poeta ! 75 

est nunc Brisaei quern venosus liber Acci, 

sunt quos Pacuviusque et verrucosa moretur 

Antiopa, aerumnis cor luctificabile fulta. 

hos pueris monitus patres infundere lippos 

cum videas, quaerisne unde haec sartago loquendi 80 

venerit in linguas, unde istud dedecus, in quo 

trossulus exultat tibi per subsellia levis ? 

" Nilne pudet capiti non posse pericula cano 
pellere, quin tepidum hoc optes audire ' decenter' ? 
' fur es/ ait PediO. Pedius quid ? crimina rasis 85 
librat in antithetis, doctas posuisse figuras 
laudatur : ' bellum hoc' hoc bellum ? an, Romule, 

ceves ? 
men moveat ? quippe et, cantet si naufragus, assem 
protulerim ? cantas, cum fracta te in trabe pictum 
ex umero portes ? verum, nee nocte paratum, 90 

plorabit qui me volet incurvasse querella." 

" Sed numeris decor est et iunctura addita crudis. 
1 cum P 1 : quern EaP 2 L. 

i Brisaeus is an epithet of Bacchus, used here (like venoms 
and verrucosus) to indicate the poet's style. Line >8 is ap- 
parently a parody of a line in the Antlope of Pacuvius, in 
which he is said to have imitated Euripides. 

2 These were the greatest of the early poets of home, after 
Ennius. Both wrote tragedies. Pacuvius was born about 
b.c. 220, Accius (or Attius) in B.C. 170. Horace speaks oi 

3 2 4 


then thy wife in a flurry arraying thee as Dictator 
before the oxen, while the lictor drives home the 
plough ! Bravo, bravo ! Mr. Poet ! One man pores 
over the dried-up tome of the Bacchanalian 1 Accius; 2 
others dwell lovingly on the warty Antiope of Pacu- 
vius, 2 ' her dolorific heart buttressed up with woes.' 
When you see blear-eyed sires pouring lessons like 
these into their children's eai*s, can you ask whence 
has come this farrago of language into their tongues ? 
or whence came those shameless ditties which put 
your smooth-faced sprigs of nobility into a tremble 
of ecstasy on the benches ? 

83 " Are you not ashamed to be unable to ward off 
danger from some hoary head without wishing to 
hear some trifling word of commendation ? ' You 
are a thief!' says the accused to Pedius : how does 
Pedius 3 reply ? He balances the charges against 
each other in smooth antitheses, and Is praised for 
his artistic tropes : f How fine ! ' they say. What, 
Romulus ? Do you call that fine ? Or are you 
just losing your virility ? Shall I be touched, think 
you, and pull a penny out of my pocket because a 
ship-wrecked mariner sings a song ? You sing, do 
you, when you carry on your shoulder a picture 
of yourself, squatting on a broken plank ? No, no . 
the man who wishes to -bend me with his tale of 
woe must shed true tears — not tears that have been 
got ready overnight.'p — =" 

92 F. " But you will admit, anyhow, that grace and 
polish have been added to the uncouth measures of 

them with more respect than Persius : aufert = Pacuvius docti 
famam senis, Accius alti {Epp. n. i. 56). 

3 The name " Pedius," as that of an advocate, seems taken 
from Hor. Sat. I. x. 28, but there seems to be no reference 
to the cause in which Pedius is there concerned. 



claudere sic versum didicit ' Berecyntius Attis,' 
et ' qui caeruleum dirimebat Nerea delphin ' ; 
sic 'costam longo subduximus Appennino.' ' 95 

"■ arma virum ! nonne hoc spumosum et cortice 

ut ramale vetus vegrandi subere coctum ? 
quidnam igitur tenerum et laxa cervice legendum ?" 
" ' torva Mimalloneis implerunt cornua bombis/ 
et ' raptum vitulo caput ablatura superbo 100 

Bassaris/ et ' lyncem Maenas flexura corymbis 
euhion ingeminate reparabilis adsonat echo ! ' 
" haec fierent, si testiculi vena ulla paterni 
viveret in nobis ? summa delumbe saliva 
hoc natat in labris, et in udo est Maenas et Attis, 1 05 
nee pluteum caedit nee demorsos sapit unguis." 
"Sed quid opus teneras mordaci radere vero 
auriculas ? vide sis ne maiorum tibi forte 
limina frigescant : sonat hie de nare canina 
littera." "per me equidem sint omnia protinus 

alba; 110 

nil moror : euge ! omnes, omnes bene, mirae eritis res ! 

1 These lines (93-5), admiringly quoted by the Friend, 
seem to be invented or quoted to show the absurdities of 
modern poetic diction. 

* These four lines of furious bombast are said by the 
Scholiast, apparently without any authority, to have formed 



our sires. See how we have learnt to round off our 
verses with ' Berecynthian Attis ' ; or ' the dolphin 
which was cleaving the sky-blue Nereus ' ; or how 
' we filched a rib off from the lengthy Apen- 
nines ! l 

P. " O shade of Virgil ! What is this but frothy 
inflated stuff, like an old bough smothered under its 
bloated bark ! Now give me something of the lan- 
guishing kind ; something that should be recited with 
a gentle bending of the neck." 

F. "'They filled their savage horns with Mimal- 
lonean boomings ' ; ' the Bassarid ready to tear off 
the head of the prancing calf ; or, ' the Maenad, 
about to rein the lynx with ivy-trails, redoubles 
the Evian shout : responsive Echo gives back the 
cry ! ' " 2 

P. " What ? Would such things be written if one 
drop of our fathers' manhood were still alive in our 
veins? Your Maenad and your Attis are just mar- 
rowless drivel, floating and spluttering on the lips, 
on the top of the spittle : no banging of the desk 
here, no biting of nails to the quick ! " 3 

107 p "But why l'asp people's tender ears with 
biting truths ? Take heed, I beseech you, that the 
doorsteps of your great friends do not grow cool 
towards you : don't you hear the snarl of a dog? " 

P. " Well, well, have your way ; I will paint every- 
thing white henceforth ! Bravo ! Bravo ! you shall 
all be paragons of creation ! Will that please you ? 

part of a poem by Nero. They are ridiculed both for their 
grandiloquence in rhythm and for their crudities in expres- 
sion. Line 99 is imitated from Catull. lxii. 264. Line 100 is 
from Eur. Bacch. 743. 
8 This line is obviously imitated from Hor. Sat. i. x. 70. 



hoc iuvat? 'hie' inquis 'veto quisquam faxit oletum. 

pinge duos anguis : pueri, sacer est locus, extra 

meite : discedo. secuit Lucilius urbem, 

te Lupe, te Muci, et genuinum fregit in illis ; 115 

omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico 

tangit et admissus circum praecordia ludit, 

callidus excusso populum suspendere naso : 

men J muttire nefas ? nee clam ? nee cum scrobe ? 

nusquam ? 
hie tamen infodiam. vidi, vidi ipse, libelle : 120 

auriculas asini qttis non habet ? hoc ego opertum, 
hoc ridere meum, tam nil, nulla tibi vendo 
Iliade. audaci quicumque adflate Cratino 
iratum Eupolidem praegrandi cum sene palles, 
aspice et haec, si forte aliquid decoctius audis. 125 
inde vaporata lector mihi ferveat aure, 
non hie qui in crepidas Graiorum ludere gestit 
sordidus et lusco qui possit dicere 'lusce' 
sese 2 aliquem credens, Italo quod honore supinus 
freserit heminas Arreti aedilis iniquas, 130 

1 men P 2 : me Biich. 2 sese aL : seque P. 

1 On spots to be protected from defilement snakes were 
painted up, as a warning, representing the genius loci. 

3 C. Lucilius, the father of Roman Satire, and forerunner 
of Horace, Persius, and Juvenal, was born in B.C. M8. 
He wrote thirty books of Satires, and, living in days of 
freedom, was unsparing in his attacks upon the follies of his 
contemporaries. See Introd. pp. xliii sqq. 



' No nuisance here/ you say ; paint up a couple 
of snakes, my lads, and clear out ; the ground is holy, 
and I'll be off." 1 

" And yet Lucilius 2 flayed our city : he flayed you, 
Lupus, and you, Mucius, and broke his jaw over you. 
Horace, sly dog, worming his way playfully into the 
vitals of his laughing friend, touches up his every 
fault ; a rare hand he at flinging out his nose and 
hanging the people on it ! 3 And may I not mutter 
one word ? Not anywhere, to myself, nor even to a 
ditch ? Yes — here will I dig it in. I have seen 
the truth ; I have seen it with my own eyes, O my 
book : Who is there who has not the ears of an ass ? 
this dead secret of mine, this poor little joke, I will 
not sell for all your Iliads ! 

" O all ye that have caught the bold breath of 
Cratinus — ye who haye grown pale over the blasts 
of Eupolis or of the Grand Old Man 4 — look here 
too, if you have an ear for anything of the finer sort. 
Let my reader be one whose ear has been cleansed 
and kindled by such strains, not one of the baser 
sort who loves to poke fun at the slippers of the 
Greeks, and who could cry out ' Old one-eye ! ' to a 
one-eyed man; nor yet one puffed up with his dignity 
as a provincial aedile who deems himself some- 
body because he has broken up short pint measures 

3 This is Mr. Conington's excellent translation. 

4 i.e. Aristophanes. These three poets, as recorded in the 
famous lines of Horace, Sat. I. iv. 1 : 

Eupolis atque Cratinus Aristophanesque poetae 
Atque alii quorum Comoedia prisca virorum est, 

constituted the great Triumvirate of the Old Comedy of 
Greece. Cratinus was born in B.C. 519, Eupolis in 446, and 
Aristophanes in 444. 

3 2 9 


nee qui abaco numeros et secto in pulvere metas 

scit risisse vafer, multum gaudere paratus, 

si cynico barbam petulans nonaria vellat. 

his mane edictunv, post prandia Calliroen do." 



at Arretium. Nor do I want a man who thinks it 
funny to laugh at figures on a blackboard, or cones 
traced in the sand, and is ready to scream with joy 
if some saucy wench plucks a Cynic by the beard. 
To such gentlemen I would commend the play-bill 
in the morning, for the afternoon Calliroe." l 

1 Some mawkish sentimental poem, of the kind satirised 



Persius takes advantage of the birthday of his 
friend and fellow-pupil Plotius Macrinus to discourse 
on the folly of the prayers usually offered to the 
Gods (1-7). Men pray openly for worthy objects; 
they pray secretly for money, for inheritances, for 
the death of all who stand in their way, besieging 
Jupiter with petitions at which any ordinary citizen 
would stand aghast (8-30). Old women offer the 
most silly prayers on behalf of babes (31-40). One 
man prays for health and strength, while raining his 
constitution by rich living (41-43); another for 
riches, while wasting his substance in costly sacrifices 
(44-51). Thirsting ourselves for gold, we believe 
the gods must love it also : we overlay their images 
with gold and use gold vessels in their service in 
place of the delf of Numa (52-60). O fools and 
o-rovellers! Why measure the Gods by our own 
fleshly lusts, and by our own joy in gratifying them ? 
Nay, rather let us approach them with clean hands 
and a pure heart, and the homeliest offerings will 
win their favour (61-75). 



Hunc, Macrine, diem numera meliore lapillo, 
qui tibi labentis apponit candidus annos. 
funde merum Genio. non tu prece poscis emaci 
quae nisi seductis nequeas committere divis. 
at bona pars procerum tacita libabit 1 acerra ; 5 

haut cuivis promptum est murmurque humilesque 

tollere de templis et aperto vivere voto. 
w mens bona, fama, fides " haec clare et ut audiat 

hospes ; 
ilia sibi introrsum et sub lingua murmurat : " o si 
ebulliat patruus, praeelarum funus ! " et " o si 10 

sub rastro crepet argenti mihi seria dextro 
Hercule! pupillumve utinam, quem proximus heres 
inpelloj expungam ! namque est 2 scabiosus et acri 
bile tumet. Nerio iam tertia conditur 3 uxor ! " 
haec sancte ut poscas, Tiberino in gurgite mergis 15 
mane caput bis terque et noctem flumine purgas? 

1 libavit P. 2 namque est P 2 : nam est P 1 : nam et est aL. 
3 ducitur Servius ap. Virg. Geo. iv. 256 ; vulgo conditur. 

1 Lines 8-11 are a close imitation of Hor. Epp. T. xvi. 59-62. 

2 Apparently a slang expression like " going off the hooks " 
or " kicking the bucket." 

J Hercules is the god of windfalls or unexpected gain. 



Set the whitest of white stones, Macrinus, to 
mark this bright day that places the gliding years 
to your account ! Pour out libations to your Genius ! 
You are not the man to utter a huckster's prayer, 
such as you could only entrust to the gods in privacy. 
Most of our great men offer their libations from 
censers that divulge no secrets : it is not every man 
that is ready to make away with mutterings and 
whisperings from the temples, and to offer prayers 
such as all men may hear. 1 "A sound mind," "a 
fair name," "good credit" — such prayers a man 
utters aloud, and in a stranger's hearing — the rest 
he mutters to himself, under his breath : " O if only 
my uncle would go off! 2 what a fine funeral I would 
give him ! " or " if only favouring Hercules 3 would 
cause a crock of silver to grate against my harrow ! " 
or "if only I could wipe out that ward of mine who 
stands next before me in the succession : for in- 
deed he is scrofulous, and full of acrid humours." 
" There's Nerius 4 (lucky dog !) burying his third 
wife." Is it that you may put up prayers like these 
with all due piety 5 that you dip your head every 
morning twice and three times in the Tiber, wash- 
ing off in his waters all the pollutions of the night? 

4 Perhaps the usurer mentioned by Horace, Sat. n. iii. 69. 

6 Sancte is emphatic. However unholy his prayers, he 
hopes to keep on the right side of the gods, and so neglects 
none of the proper religious observances. See Hor. Sat. II. 
iii. 290-2, and Juv. vi. 523. 



Heus age, responde (minimum est quod scire 
laboi-o) : 
de love quid sentis ? estne ut praeponere cures 
hunc — "cuinam?" cuinam ? visStaio? an scilicet 

haeres ? 
quis potior iudex puerisve quis aptior orbis ? 20 

hoc igitur, quo tu Iovis aurem impellere temptas, 
die agedum Staio : " pro Iuppiter ! o bone/' clamet, 
" Iuppiter ! " at sese non clamet Iuppiter ipse ? 
ignovisse putas, quia, cum tonat, ocius ilex 
sulpure discutitur sacro quam tuque domusque ? 25 
an quia non fibris ovium Ergennaque iubente 
triste iaces lucis evitandumque bidental, 
idcirco stolidam pi-aebet tibi vellere barbam 
Iuppiter ? aut quidnam est qua tu mercede deorum 
emeris auriculas ? pulmone et lactibus unctis ? 30 

Ecce avia aut metuens divum matertera cunis 
exemit puerum, frontemque atque uda labella 
infami digito et lustralibus ante salivis 
expiat, urentis oculos inhibere perita; 
tunc manibus quatit et spem macram supplice voto 35 

1 Staius is taken as a representative of an average respect- 
able citizen. 

2 An obviously Etruscan name. Etruria was famous for its 

3 Bidental is properly a spot struck by lightning, purified 
or consecrated by the sacrifice of a bidens (a two-year-old 
victim), and enclosed with a fence. Such spots were of 
evil omen. Here the bidental stands for the body of the 
man killed by lightning. 



17 Come now, answer me this question : it is a very 
little thing that I want to know ; What is your 
ppinion of Jupiter? Would you rank him above — 
* Above whom?" — Above whom, you ask? Well, 
shall we say Staius ? 1 or do you stick at that? 
Could you name a more upright judge than 
Staius; or one more fitted to be a guardian to an 
orphan family? Well then, just whisper to Staius 
the prayer with which you would impress the ear of 
Jupiter: — "O gracious Jupiter! " he would cry, "O 
Jupiter ! " And will not Jupiter call upon himself, 
think you ? Do you imagine that he has condoned 
everything because, when it thunders, the sacred 
fire rends an oak-tree in twain sooner than you 
and your house ? Or because you are not lying in 
a grove, at the bidding of Ergenna 2 and a sheep's 
liver, an accursed and abhorred object, 3 will Jupiter 
therefore offer you his foolish beard to pluck ? And 
what is the price by which you have purchased a 
kindly hearing from the gods ? Is it a dish of lights 
and greasy entrails ? 4 

31 See how a granny, or an auntie who fears 
the gods, takes baby out of his cradle : 5 skilled in 
averting the evil eye, she first, with her middle 
finger, applies the charm of lustrous spittle 6 to his 
forehead and slobbering lips ; she then dandles the 
wizened Hopeful 7 in her arms, and destines him in 

4 Persius and Juvenal are continually ridiculing the offering 
of exta to the gods (Juv. x. 354, xiii. 115). 

5 This passage bears a close resemblance to Juv. x. 289 foil. 

6 Various were the virtues of saliva, especially in magical 
and semi-magical ceremonies. See Pliny, H.N. xxviii. 4, 22. 
It was especially efficacious against the evil eye. 

7 The contemptuous epithet heightens the contrast. Pro- 
fessor Housman takes spem to mean simply hope ; hope lean 
and hungry, and therefore insatiable. 



nunc Licini in campos, nunc Crassi mittit in aedis : 
"hunc optent generum rex et regina ; puellae 
hunc rapiant ; quidquid calcaverit hie, rosa fiat." 
ast ego nutrici non mando vota ; negato, 
Iuppiter, haec illi, quamvis te albata rogarit ! 1 40 

Poscis opem nervis corpusque fidele senectae. 
esto, age"; sed grandes patinae tuccetaque crassa 
adnuere his superos vetuere Iovemque morantur. 

Rem struere exoptas caeso bove Mercuriumque 
accersis fibra : " da fortunare penatis, 45 

da pecus et gregibus fetum ! " quo pessime, pacto, 
tot tibi cum in flammis 2 iunicum omenta liquescant ? 
et tamen hie extis et opimo vincere ferto 
intendit : ' ' iam crescit ager, iam crescit ovile, 
iam dabitur, iam iam"— donee deceptus et exspes 50 
nequiquam fundo suspiret nummus in imo. 

Si tibi crateras argenti incusaque pingui 
auro dona feram, sudes et pectore laevo 
excutiat guttas laetari praetrepidum cor. 
hinc illud subiit, auro sacras quod ovato 55 

perducis facies ; nam fratres inter aenos 

i rogarit P : rogabit aL. 2 flammas aL. 

i Both men of proverbial wealth. Crassus was the Triumvir 
slain at the battle of Carrhae B.C. 53; Licinus was an en- 
franchised slave of Caesar who became Procurator of Gaul. 
See Juv. i. 109 and Mayor's note. 

* Mercury also (mtrx) was the god of gain. _ 
3 Several fanciful interpretations have been given of this 
phrase. The "brazen brotherhood" seems to refer to the 
gods as a whole, whose statues were usually of bronze. If 



her prayers to the domains of a LicinusJ or the 
mansion of a Crassus ; l "May kings and queens 
desire him for their daughter ! May the maidens 
scramble for him ! May roses bloom wherever 
he plants his foot ! "—No ! never shall prayer of 
mine be committed to a nurse ; reject, O Jupiter, 
her petition, though she be clothed in white to ask 
it of thee ! 

41 You pray for strength of limb, and for a body 
that shall not fail you in old age. Good ; but your 
grand dishes and rich ragouts forbid the gods to 
listen to you, and stay the hand of Jupiter. 

44 Lusting for wealth, you slay an ox, and sum- 
mon Mercury 2 with a liver. "Grant that my 
household gods may prosper me ! " you cry ; " grant 
increase to my flocks and herds ! " But how can 
that be, poor fool, when the fat of all those heifers 
is melting away in the flames ? Yet on the fellow 
goes, bent upon winning his wish with his entrails 
and his rich cakes: — "I am now adding held to 
field, and flock to flock," he cries, ever hoping and 
hoping on, till at length his last coin, duped and 
disappointed, heaves a vain sigh at the bottom of 
his purse ! 

52 Were I to offer you cups of silver, or gifts 
richly inlaid with gold, your heart would beat high 
with joy, and drops of sweat would trickle from 
your left breast. Hence your idea of overlaying the 
faces of the gods with triumphal gold ; for you say, 
" Let those among the brazen brothers 3 rank highest 

any of these, says Persius ironically, send us dreams free 
from gouty humours, they should be highly honoured 
and given beards of gold. See Professor Housman, I.e. pp. 

z 2 


somnia pituita qui purgatissima mittunt 
praecipui sunto sitque illis aurea barba. 
aurum vasa Numae Saturniaque impulit aera 
Vestalesque urnas et Tuscum fictile mutat. 60 

curvae in terris animae et caelestium inanis ! 
quid iuvat hoc, templis nostros immittere mores 
et bona dis ex hac scelerata ducere pulpa ? 

haec sibi corrupto casiam dissolvit olivo, 

et Calabrum coxit vitiato murice vellus ; 65 

haec bacam conchae rasisse et stringere venas 

ferventis massae crudo de pulvere iussit. 

peccat et haec, peccat, vitio tamen utitur. at vos 

dicite, pontifices : in sancto quid facit aurum ? 

nempe hoc quod Veneri donatae a virgine pupae. 70 

quin damus id superis, de magna quod dare lance 

non possit magni Messalae lippa propago : 

compositum ius fasque animo sanctosque recessus 

mentis et incoctum generoso pectus honesto. 

haec cedo ut admoveam templis, et farre litabo. 75 

1 The bronze vessels of the Saturnian age, with a possible 
reference to the bronze coinage of early Rome. 

2 cp. Juv. xi. 115. Fictilis et nullo violatus Iuppiier auro. 

3 Just as boys dedicated the bulla on assuming the toga 
virilis, so did maidens hang up their dolls to Venus on 
attaining womanhood. 



who send us dreams most free from gouty vapours, 
and let their beards be all of gold ! Gold has now 
ousted Numa's crockery, and the bronze vessels 
of Saturn ; a it has supplanted the urns and Tuscan 
pottery 2 of the Vestals. 

61 O Souls bowed down to earth, and void of all 
heavenly thoughts ! What avails it to bring our ideas 
into the temples, and to infer from this sinful flesh 
of ours what is pleasing to the gods ? It is the flesh 
that has spoilt our oil by mingling it with casia, and 
misused Tyrian purple for the soaking of Calabrian 
fleeces ; it is this that has bidden us pluck the pearl 
from the shell, and tear out the veins of shining ore 
from the native clay. The flesh indeed sins, it 
sins, and yet it gets profit from its sinning But 
tell me this, ye priests, what avails gold inside the 
sanctuary ? Just as much as the dolls 3 which maidens 
dedicate to Venus ! Nay rather let us offer to the gods 
what the blear-eyed progeny of the great Messala 4 
cannot give out of his lordly salver : — a heart rightly 
attuned towards God and man ; a mind pure in its 
inner depths, and a soul steeped in nobleness and 
honour. Give me these to offer in the temples, and 
a handful of corn shall win my prayer for me ! 

4 A degenerate descendant of the distinguished Messalae, 
a family of the Valerian gens, with a possible reference to 
L. Aurelius Cotta Messalinus, mentioned with contumely 
by Tacitus {Ann. v. 3 and vi. 5). 



Prof. Housman has well explained the difficulties 
of this satire. Throughout its first sixty-two verses, 
it is aimed at those who live amiss though they 
know the right way; and the satirist takes himself 
as a specimen of the class {Class. Quart. Jan. 1913, 
pp. 26-28). Persius alternately acts the part of the 
youth satirised (which explains the use of the first 
person in stertimus, ftndor, querimur) and alternately 
assumes the role of a monitor, expostulating with 
the young man and trying to recall him to a sense 
of the follies and wasted opportunities of his life 
(1-43). Childish sports are suitable to the age of 
childhood ; but when childhood is past, and know- 
ledge has arrived, the serious purposes of life must 
be faced (44-62). 

From that point onwards the theme is more 
general, being directed against those who have not 
been illuminated by philosophy (63-118). 

"What? still sleeping? Won't you be up and 
doino-?" " How can I? won't somebody come to 
help me ? My pen won't write, and the ink won't 
mark" (1-14). Mere baby that you are! you are 
running to waste; satisfied with your competency, 
you're letting the precious moments slip, and will 
soon be no better than Natta who has lost all sense 
of right and wrong. What torture more horrible 
than to feel that virtue has for ever passed out of 



your grasp? (15-43). As a child I too rejoiced in 
childish games ; but you are no child, you have 
studied philosophy, you know the difference between 
the straight and the crooked ; yet here you are, 
yawning off yesterday's debauch without a thought 
for the ends which alone make life worth living ! 

The time will come when it will be too late to 
mend ; be wise in time. Learn what you are, and 
why you were brought here ; what is the true end 
for man, and what are his duties : don't be envious 
of the rich stores of your wealthy lawyer-neighbour 
(63-76). At this no doubt some shaggy soldier will 
burst into a guffaw and tell us that he doesn't care 
a fig for all the philosophers in creation, with their 
dull looks, their bent figures, their dismal mutterings 
and old-wife dreamings that nothing can come out 
of nothing, and nothing go back to nothing (77-87). 

A man feels ill and consults his doctor, who orders 
rest and abstinence. Feeling better after a few days, 
he returns to his old habits, rejects scornfully the 
warnings of friends, and bathes on a full stomach. 
While drinking his wine, he is seized by a sudden 
stroke, and is carried to the grave by citizens of 
yesterday's making (88-106). You tell me you have 
no illness, no fever in your pulse. But does not your 
heart beat. high when you catch sight of money, or 
when a pretty girl smiles sweetly on you ? Can you 
put up with plain food? Not you! Cold at one 
moment with fear, at another hot with wrath, you 
say things and do things which Orestes himself 
would declare were signs of madness C107-118). 



" Nempe haec adsidue ? iam clarum mane fenestras 
intrat et angustas extendit lumine rimas ; 
stertimus, indotnitum quod despumare Falernum 
sufficiat, quinta dum linea tangitur umbra, 
en quid agis ? siccas insana canicula messes 5 

iam dudum coquit et patula pecus omne sub ulmo est" 
unus ait comitum. " verumne ? itan ? ocius adsit 
buc aliquis. nemon ? " turgescit vitrea bilis : 
findor ut Arcadiae pecuaria rudere credas. 
iam liber et positis bicolor membrana capillis 10 

inque manus chartae nodosaque venit harundo ; 
tunc querimur 1 crassus calamo quod pendeat umor, 
nigra set infusa vanescit 2 sepia lympha ; 
dilutas querimur geminet quod fistula guttas. 

O miser inque dies ultra miser, hucine rerum 15 
venimus ? aut cur non potius teneroque columbo 
et similis regum pueris pappare minutum 
poscis et iratus mammae lallare recusas ? 

1 querimus a ; queritur L : qumritur P 2 . 

2 vanescat aL. 



"What? Is this to go on for ever? Here is the 
morning sun pouring in at your windows and 
widening every chink with its beams. The shadow 
is just touching the fifth line of the sundial and we 
are snoring enough to work off that indomitable 
Falernian ! What are you going to do ? The mad 
Dog-star has long been drying and baking the crops ; 
the cattle are all lying under the branching elms ! " 
So speaks one of my young lord's friends. 

7 "What now, really, is that so? Won't somebody 
come quick ? What ? Nobody there ? " The glassy 
bile swells big Avithin him. " I'm just splitting," he 
shouts ; till you would think that all the herds of 
Arcadia were setting up a bray. We now take up 
our book, and the two-coloured parchment, well 
cleansed of hair ; some paper too, and the knotty 
reed-pen. Next we complain that the ink is thick 
and clots upon the pen ; that when water is poured 
in, the blackness disappears, and that the pen 
sprinkles the diluted stufFin blots upon the paper. 

15 Poor fool, and more of a fool every day ! Is this 
the pass to which we have come ? Why not rather 
go on like a pet dove, or like a child in some great 
man's house that asks to have its food cut up small, 
or refuses in a rage to listen to its mammy's lullaby? 



"An tali studeam calamo ?" cui verba ? quid istas 
succinis ambages ? tibi luditur. effluis aniens, 20 
contemnere : sonat vitium percussa maligne 
respondet viridi non cocta fidelia limo. 
udum et molle lutum es, nunc nunc properandus et acri 
fingendus sine fine rota, sed ruve paterno 
est tibi far modicum, purum et sine labe salinum 25 
(quid metuas ?) cultrixque foci secura patella, 
hoc satis ? an deceat pulmonem rumpere ventis, 
stemmate quod Tusco ramum millesime ducis 
censoremve tuum vel quod trabeate salutas ? 
ad populum phaleras ! ego te intus et in cute novi. 30 
non pudet ad morem discincti vivere Nattae ? 
sed stupet hie vitio et fibris increvit opimum 
pingue, caret culpa, nescit quid perdat, et alto 
demersus summa rursus non bullit in unda. 

Magne pater divum, saevos punire tyrannos 35 
haut alia ratione velis, cum dira libido 
moverit ingenium ferventi tincta veneno : 
virtutem videant intabescantque relicta. 
anne magis Siculi gemuerunt aera iuvenci, 
et magis auratis pendens laquearibus ensis 40 

1 This metaphor, taken from testing the soundness of a jar 
by the ring, is repeated in v. 24. 

2 Referring to the annual parade (transvtctio) of the 
equites, clad in their purple robes of state (trabea), before 
the Censor. 

3 Peisius warns the youth that he is in danger of falling 
into the lowest state of all, that of the incorrigible reprobate 
who is dead to all moral feeling, and has to suffer, when too 



i9 " But how can I work with a pen like this ? " 
Whom will you deceive ? Why these whining 
evasions ? The gamble is your own ; your brains are 
oozing away, and you are becoming contemptible ; 
formed of green and ill-baked earth, 1 the jar rings 
false when struck, and betrays the flaw. You are 
moist and ductile clay ; what you need is to be taken in 
hand from this instant, and moulded ceaselessly on 
the swift-revolving wheel. But you have an ancestral 
property, with a moderate crop of corn ; you have a 
bright and spotless salt-cellar (nothing to fear, you 
think), with an ample salver for the worship of the 
hearth. What? Will that satisfy you ? Or are you 
to puff out your lungs with pride because you come 
of a Tuscan stock, yourself the thousandth in the 
line ; or because on review days you salute your 
Censor 2 in a purple robe? To the mob with your 
trappings! 3 I know you within and on the skin. 4 
Are you not ashamed to live after the fashion of the 
abandoned Natta ? a man deadened by vice, whose 
heart is overlaid with brawn, who has no sense of sin, 
no knowledge of what he is losing, and is sunk so 
deep that he sends up no bubble to the surface? 

35 O mighty Father of the gods ! Be it thy will 
to punish cruel tyrants whose souls have been stirred 
by the deadly poison of evil lust in no other way 
but this — that they may look on Virtue, and pine 
away because they have lost her! Did ever 
brazen bull of Sicily 5 roar more frightfully ; did ever 
sword hanging from gilded ceiling strike more terror 

late, all the horrors of a guilty conscience (30-43). This 
character corresponds to the cucSKaaros of Aristotle. 

4 i.e. " closely." cf. eV XPV' 

6 In allusion to the brazen bull of Phalaris, tyrant of 
Agrigentum. See the parallel passage in Juv. viii. 81-82. 



purpureas subter cervices terruit, " imus 
imus praecipites " quam si sibi dicat et intus 
palleat infelix quod proxima nesciat uxor ? 

Saepe oculos, memini, tangebam parvus olivo, 
grandia si nollem morituri verba Catonis 45 

dicere 1 non sano multum laudanda magistro, 
quae pater adductis sudans audiret amicis. 
iure etenim id summum, quid dexter senio ferret 
scire erat in voto, damnosa canicula quantum 
raderet, angustae collo non fallier orcae, 50 

neu quis callidior buxum torquere flagello. 

Haut tibi inexpertum curvos deprendere mores, 
quaeque docet sapiens bracatis inlita Medis 
porticus, insomnis quibus et detonsa iuventus 
invigilat siliquis et grandi pasta polenta ; 55 

et tibi, quae Samios diduxit 2 littera ramos, 
surgentem dextro monstravit limite callem ; 3 
stertis adhuc ? laxumque caput conpage soluta 

1 dicere P : discere aL. * deduxit PaL. 
3 callem P 2 LA 2 : collem P'a. 

1 An obvious reminiscence of Horace, Od. in. i. 17-18. 

2 In playing with the tesserae, cubes like our dice, the 
highest throw (called " Venus," or jactus venereus) was the 
senio, when all the dice turned up sixes. The lowest throw 
was when all came out singles (uniones) : that was called 
canis, or, as here, canicula. 

3 " Straight " and " crooked " (or"curved") are naturally 
applied to denote "good" and "bad" respectively. Simi- 
larly our word "right" is derived from rectus, and " de- 
praved " from pravus, "crooked." cf. "the crooked shall be 
made straight, and the rough places plain " (Isaiah xl. 4). 



into the purple necks below, 1 than for a man to say 
to himself, " I am falling, falling to ruin," and to 
turn pale, poor wretch, for a misdeed which the wife 
of his bosom may not know ? 

44 I used often, 1 remember, as a boy to smear my 
eyes with oil if I did not want to recite the noble 
speech of the dying Cato — a speech which would be 
much applauded by my idiot of a master, and that 
to which my father, sweating with delight, would have 
to listen with his invited friends. And very right 
too : for in those days it was my highest ambition to 
know how much the lucky sice 2 would bring me, 
how much the ruinous ace would carry off; not to 
be baffled by the narrow neck of the jar, and not to 
be outdone by anyone in whipping the boxwood top. 

62 But you have learnt how to distinguish the 
crooked from the straight ; 3 you have studied the 
doctrines of the learned Porch, daubed over with 
trousered Medes : 4 those doctrines over which a 
sleepless and close-cropped youth, fed on beans and 
grand messes of porridge, nightly pores; and the 
letter which spreads out into Pythagorean branches 
has pointed out to you the steep path which rises on 
the right. 5 And are you snoring still ? yawning off 

4 Referring to the iroiKi\i) aroi., or Painted Portico, in 
which Zeiio, the founder of the Stoics, taught. It was 
adorned with pictures, one of which represented the battle 
of Marathon, with Persians in their native dress. 

8 Pythagoras of Samos is said to have depicted the 
"Choice of Life" under the form of the Greek letter T, 
which was originally written with a straight stem, <-|. The 
straight stem represents the period of indeterminate child- 
hood ; the branching ways represent the moment when the 
choice of life has to be made. The steep path to the right 
is the path of virtue ; the sloping path to the left that of 
vice and pleasure. 



oscitat hesternum dissutis undique malis ? 
est aliquid quo tendis, et in quod derigis 1 arcum ? 60 
an passim sequeris corvos testaque lutoque, 
securus quo pes ferat, atque ex tempore vivis ? 

Elleborum frustra, cum iam cutis aegra tumebit, 
poscentis videas : venienti occurrite morbo, 
et quid opus Cratero magnos promittere montis ? 65 
discite et, o miseri, causas cognoscite rerum : 
quid sumus et quidnam victuri gignimur, ordo 
quis datus aut metae qua mollis flexus et unde, 
quis modus argento, quid fas optare, quid asper 
utile nummus liabet, patriae carisque propinquis 70 
quantum elargiri deceat, quern te deus esse 
iussit et humana qua parte locatus es in re ; 
disce, nee invideas quod multa fidelia putet 
in locuplete penu defensis pinguibus Vmbris, 
et piper et pernae, Marsi monumenta cluentis, 2 75 
maenaque quod prima nondum defecerit orca. 

Hie aliquis de gente hircosa centurionum 
dicat : " quod sapio, satis est mihi. non ego euro 
esse quod Arcesilas aerumnosique Solones 

1 derigis A 2 : dirigis P 2 : dirigas P. 

2 eluevtis P 1 : clientis P 2 L. 

1 The name of a doctor, taken from Hor. Sat. II. Hi. 161. 
' 2 i.e. what is the real and proper use of money. 

3 Country clients seem generally to have paid their 
lawyers' fees in kind. See the enumeration of such rural 
gifts in Juv. vii. 119-121. 

4 Nothing so moves the ire and contempt of the gentle 
philosophic Persius as the ignorance and coarseness of the 
brawny soldiery. See v. 189-191 ; also Juv. xvi. throughout. 



the debauch of yesterday, with a head unhinged and 
nodding, and jaws gaping from ear to ear? Have 
you any goal in life ? Is there any target at which 
you aim? Or are you just taking random shots at 
ci-ows with clods and potsherds, not caring whither 
your feet are taking you, and living from one mo- 
ment to another ? 

63 It is too late to call for hellebore when the skin 
is already swollen and diseased ; meet the malady 
on its way, and then what need to promise big 
fees to Craterus ? l Come and learn, O miserable 
souls, and be instructed in the causes of things : 
learn what we are, and for what sort of lives we 
were born ; what place was assigned to us at the 
start ; how to round the turning-post gently, and 
from what point to begin the turn ; what limit should 
be placed on wealth ; what prayers may rightfully be 
offered ; what good there is in fresh-minted coin ; 2 
how much should be spent on country and on kin ; 
what part God has oi-dered you to play, and at what 
point of the human commonwealth you have been 
stationed. Learn these things, and do not envy your 
neighbour because he has many a jar going bad in a 
larder well stored with gifts from the fat Umbrians 3 
whom he has defended, or with the pepper and hams 
that tell of grateful Marsian clients, or because the 
pilchards in his first barrel have not yet come to an 

77 Here one of the unsavoury tribe of Centu- 
rions 4 may say, " What I know is enough for me ; I 
have no mind to be an Arcesilas, 5 or one of your poor 

5 Arcesilas, or Arcesilaus, a Greek philosopher of the 
third century B.C., regarded as the founder of the Middle 

35 1 


obstipo capite et figentes lumine terrain, 8C 

murmura cum secum et rabiosa silentia rodunt 
atque exporrecto trutinantur verba labello, 
aegroti veteris meditantes somnia, gigni 
de nihilo nihilum, in nihilum nil posse reverti. 
hoc est quod palles? cur quis non prandeat hoc est?" 85 
his populus ridet, multumque torosa iuventus 
ingeminat tremulos naso crispante cachinnos. 

" Inspice, nescio quid trepidat mihi pectus et aegris 
faucibus exsuperat gravis halitus, inspice sodes " 
qui dicit medico, iussus requiescere, postquam 90 
tertia conpositas vidit nox currere venas, 
de maiore domo modice sitiente lagoena 
lenia loturo sibi Surrentina rogavit. 1 
"heus bone, tu palles." "nihil est." "videastamen 

quidquid id est : surgit tacite tibi lutea pellis." 95 
" at tu deterius palles. ne sis mihi tutor, 
iam pridem hunc sepeli : tu restas." " perge, tacebo." 
turgidus hie epulis atque albo ventre lavatur, 
gutture sulpureas lente exhalante mefites. 
sed tremor inter vina subit calidumque trientem 2 100 
excutit e manibus, dentes crepuere retecti, 
uncta cadunt laxis'tunc pulmentaria labris. 
hinc tuba, candelae, tandemque beatulus alto 

1 rogavit P : rogabit P- : rogabis aL. 2 trienlal <p. 

1 The early sage and legislator of Athens of the seventh 
century ; the most famous of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. 

2 The fundamental principle of the Epicurean philosophy. 

3 cf. Hor. Sat. n. iii. 88 : ne sis patruus mihi. 

35 2 


devils of Solons 1 who go about with their heads bent 
down, pinning their eyes to the ground, champing 
and muttering to themselves like mad dogs, balancing 
their words on protruded lip, and pondering over the 
dreams of some sickly grey-beard that nothing can 
come out of nothing, and that nothing can into 
nothing return. 2 Is it over stuff like this that you 
grow pale ? is it worth while for this to go without 
your dinner ? " Such jests move the mob to mirth : 
peal after peal of laughter comes rippling forth from 
the curled nostrils of our brawny youth. 

88 "Examine me," says a patient to his doctor; 
"I have a strange fluttering at the heart; my throat 
is sore, and the breath coming from it is bad." The 
doctor orders rest ; but when the third night finds 
the man's veins flowing quietly along, he sends a 
good-sized flagon to a wealthy friend, and asks for 
some old Surrentine wine to tak- before his bath. 
"You're a bit pale," says the friend. "O that's 
nothing," says the other. " But you had better look 
to it, whatever it is; your skin is yellow and is begin- 
ning to swell." « You're paler yourself: don't come 
the guardian 3 over me ; I buried mine long ago : 4 
only you are left." "As you please, I say no more." 
So, gorged with a good dinner, and pale in the belly, 
he takes his bath, slowly pouring forth sulphurous 
vapours from his throat. But as he drinks his 
wine a shivering fit comes on and knocks the hot 
tumbler out of his hand; his teeth are laid bare 
and chatter ; the savoury morsels drop out of his 
relaxed lips. Then follow the trumpet and the torch, 
and at last the poar departed, laid out on a high 

4 From Horace again, Sat. i. ix. 28: " nines composui : 
Felices! nunc ego resto." 


A A 


conpositus lecto crassisque lutatus amomis 

in portam rigidas calces extendit. at ilium 105 

hesterni capite induto subiere Quirites. 

" Tange, miser, venas et pone in pectore dextram. 
nil calet hie. summosque pedes attinge manusque : 
non frigent." visa est si forte pecunia sive 
Candida vicini subrisit molle puella, 110 

cor tibi rite salit ? positum est algente catino 
durum olus et populi cribro decussa farina : 
temptemus fauces ; tenero latet ulcus in ore 
putre, quod haut deceat plebeia radere beta. 
algeSj cum excussit membris timor albus aristas ; 115 
nunc face supposita fervescit sanguis et ira 
scintillant oculi, dicisque facisque quod ipse 
non sani esse hominis non sanus iuret Orestes. 

1 The tuba, candelae, amomis (or amormim), all part of the 
paraphernalia of a funeral. See Juv. iv. 108. 



bed and smeared with greasy unguents/ stretches 
out his heels cold and stark towards the door, and 
Quirites of yesterday's making, with caj)s of liberty 2 
on their heads, carry him out to burial. 

107 c Feel my pulse, poor fool, and put your hand 
upon my heart ; no fever there ! Touch my hands 
and my feet; they are not cold!" No, but if you 
catch a glimpse of coin, or if the pretty girl next door 
smiles sweetly on you : will your heart beat steadily 
then ? Or suppose you have a dish of tough cabbage 
served up to you on a cold plate with bread made 
of the coarsest flour, would we not discover a sore 
place in your throat, if we looked into it, which must 
not be scraped by plebeian beet? You shiver when 
pale fear sets your bristles up ; anon, if a torch is 
applied to you, your blood boils, your eyes flash with 
rage, and you say things, and do things, which the 
mad Orestes himself would swear were the signs of 
madness ! 

2 The body is carried to the grave by slaves manumitted 
by their late master's will. As soon as the slave was manu- 
mitted he put on a conical cap (pileus) as a sign of liberty. 

A a 2 


Puffed up by his ancestry, the youthful Aleibiades 
would fain guide the state. Knowledge of men and 
morals have come to him before his beard ; trusting 
to his birth, his beauty, and his wheedling tongue, 
he advises the multitude on the most delicate points 
of right and policy. Yet he has none but the lowest 
conceptions of life ; he has no higher ideals than an 
old woman who hawks vegetables in the street 

Not one of us has any knowledge of himself, 
though we are all ready to discourse about our 
neighbours. Ask a question about Vettidius, and you 
will learn all the particulars of his life ; how miserly 
he is, how he starves alike himself and his slaves. 
And are you any better, though your vices lie in an 
opposite direction to his? (23-41). 

Thus we lash and are lashed in turn. Do not 
deceive yourself; however much the neighbourhood 
may praise you, care for no man's opinion but your 
own. Look carefully into your own heart, and ac- 
knowledge how poorly you are furnished (42-52). 



" Rem populi tractas ? " barbatum haec crede 
dicere, sovbitio tollit quern dira cicutae. 
quo fretus? die hoc, magni pupille Pericli. 
scilicet ingenium et rerum prudentia velox 
ante pilos venit, dicenda tacendave calles. 5 

ergo ubi commota fervet plebecula bile, 
fert animus calidae fecisse silentia turbae 
maiestate manus. quid deinde loquere ? " Quirites, 
hoc puta 1 non iustum est; illud male,rectius illud." 
scis etenim iustum gemina suspendere lance 10 

ancipitis librae, rectum discernis ubi inter 
curva subit vel cum fallit pede regula varo, 
et potis es nigrum vitio praefigere theta. 
quin tu igitur, summa nequiquam pelle decorus, 
ante diem blando caudam iactare popello 15 

desinis, Anticyras melior sorbere meracas? 

i puto P 3 A 2 L. 

2 lericle^was guardian to Alcibiades, and introduced him 

to public life. 

3 Spp Sat iii. 52 and note. 

* The Greek letter 6, the initial letter of Odvaros, was 
used by judges in passing a death sentence. 



" What ? Are you busying yourself with affairs of 

state ? " 

Imagine these to be the words of the bearded 
sage 1 who was carried off by that deadly draught of 
hemlock. Tell me, you ward of the mighty Pericles, 2 
what are your qualifications? Sagacity, no doubt, 
and a knowledge of affairs, have come to you quickly, 
before your beard ; you know well what to say, and 
what to leave unsaid. So when the bile of the 
multitude has been stirred to heat, the spirit moves 
you to impose silence on the fevered mob by a lordly 
waving of the hand. What will you say after that ? 
" Fellow citizens ! This proposal is unjust ; that other 
one is bad ; this third plan is the best ! " For, of 
course, you know exactly how to weigh justice in the 
twin scales of the wavering balance ; you can detect 
the straight line when it comes in between curves, 3 
even when the straddling leg of the foot-rule would 
lead you wrong ; and you know how to affix to guilt 
the black mark of death. 4 But seeing that your sleek 
outside skin will avail you not, why not stop waving 
that tail of yours to the fawning multitude before 
your time, when it would be better for you to be 
swallowing whole islands-full 5 of hellebore un- 
diluted ? 

5 There were two towns called Anticyra, one in Phocis, 
one in Thessaly. Both produced hellebore, the sovereign 
remedy for madness. 



Quae tibi summa boni est? uncta vixisse patella 
semper et adsiduo curata cuticula sole ? 
expecta, haut aliud respondeat haec anus, i nunc, 
" Dinomaches ego sum/' suffla, "sum candidus." 

esto, 20 

dum ne deterius sapiat pannucia Baucis, 
cum bene discincto cantaverit ocima vernae. 

Vt nemo in sese temptat descendere, nemo, 
sed praecedenti 1 spectatur mantica tergo ! 
quaesieris " nostin Vettidi praedia ? " " cuius ? " 25 
"dives arat Curibus quantum non miluus errat." 
" hunc ais, hunc dis iratis genioque sinistro, 
qui, quandoque iugum pertusa ad com pita figit, 
seriolae veterem metuens deradere limum, 
ingemit 'hoc bene sit' tunicatum cum sale mordens 30 
caepe, et farrata 2 pueris plaudentibus olla 2 
pannosam faecem morientis sorbet aceti? " 
at si unctus cesses et figas in cute solem, 
est prope te ignotus, cubito qui tangat et acre 
despuat: " hi mores! penemque arcanaque lumbi 35 
runcantem populo marcentis pandere vulvas ! 
tunc cum maxillis balanatum gausape pectas, 
inguinibus quare detonsus gurgulio extat? 
quinque palaestritae licet haec plantaria vellant 
elixasque nates labefactent forcipe adunca, 40 

non tamen ista filix ullo mansuescit aratro." 

Caedimus inque vicem praebemus crura sagittis. 
vivitur hoc pacto, sic novimus. ilia subter 

1 praecedentis L. 2 farrata olle PA 2 : farratam ollam L. 

1 The lines 21 and 22 have been variously, but not satis- 
factorily, explained. The name Baucis is that of a peasant- 
woman in one of Ovid's tales [Met. viii. 640 foil.). The 
general sense seems to be that the arts employed by Al- 
cibiades are no better in their way than those used by an old 
woman in hawking vegetables to some slovenly fellow-slave. 



17 What is your notion of the highest good ? Is it 
to live off dainty dishes every day, and to have your 
delicate cuticle comforted by continual basking in 
the sun ? Wait a bit, and this old woman here will 
give no other answer. Go, then, and blow your 
trumpet : " I am Dinomache's son ; I am the pink of 
beauty!" Good! only remember that you are no 
wiser than this tattered old Baucis when she puffs 
off her greengroceries to some slipshod slave ! x 

23 Not a soul is there — no, not one — who seeks 
to get down into his own self; 2 all watch the 
wallet on the back that walks before ! Ask any 
one whether he knows the property of Ventidius ; 
" Whom do you mean ? " he will ask. " O that rich 
man at Cures who owns more land than a kite can 
fly over." " What ? Do you mean that fellow, hateful 
alike to the gods and his own Genius, who, on the 
day when he hangs up his yoke at the Cross Roads, 
hesitates to wipe off the dirt that has gathered 
round his cannikin of wine, and groans out, ' May it 
all be for the best ! ' and while the slave-lads are 
revelling over their hasty-pudding, munches an 
onion, skin and all, with a pinch of salt to it, and 
sucks down the dregs of some expiring vinegar ? " 

But, on the other hand, should you be living in 
lazy luxury, basking in the sunshine, there is always 
some one you never knew to jog you with his elbow, 
and, spitting savagely at you, cry, "Are these your 
vile practices ? " . . . 

42 We keep smiting by turns and by turns present- 
ing our own legs to the arrow. That is the rule of 
life ; that is the lesson of experience. You have a 

2 From line 23 to the end the subject is once more the 
want of self-knowledge. 



caecum vulnus habes, sed lato balteus auro 
praetegit. ut mavis, da verba et decipe nervos, 45 

si potes. 

a Egregium cum me vicinia dicat, 
non credam ? " viso si palles, inprobe, nummo, 
si facis in penem quidquid tibi venit, amarum 
si puteal multa cautus vibice flagellas, 
nequiquam populo bibulas donaveris aures. 50 

respue quod non es, tollat sua munera cerdo ; 
tecum habita : noris quam sit tibi curta supellex. 

1 This line has not been satisfactorily explained. Puteal, 
or Puleal Libonis, seems to stand for the Forum, which was 



secret wound beneath the groin ; but a broad golden 
belt keeps it out of view. Well, as you please ; trick 
your body and befool it if you can ! 

40 <( What? If all my neighbours call me a fine 
fellow, am I not to believe them ? " If, in your greed, 
you change colour at the sight of gold ; if you yield 
to every foul desire ; if by some crafty trick you flog 
the money-market with whipcord, 1 in vain will you 
lend your thirsty ears to the flattery of the mob. 
Cast off everything that is not yourself; let the mob 
take back what they have given you ; live in your 
own house, and recognise how poorly it is furnished. 

the Roman money-market, and the line is supposed to refer 
to some fishy or fraudulent operation on the Stock Exchange. 



This satire begins with an enthusiastic acknow- 
ledgment by the poet of all that he owes to his 
beloved guide, philosopher, and friend, L. Annaeus 
Cornutus, and then goes on to discuss the great 
Stoical thesis that all men (Stoics of course excepted) 
are slaves. The whole is modelled upon Horace, 
Sat. ii. vii. 

O for a hundred tongues, as the poets of old used 
to say ! (1-4). " Why such a prayer from you ? 
You are not going to gather solemn vapourings on 
Mount Helicon, or inflict upon us the ghastly tales 
and grandiose mouthings of Greek Tragedy ; yours 
is a more homely theme, to rebuke skilfully and 
pleasantly, in every-day language, the vices and the 
foibles of common life " (5—18). 

No, no ! my page is not to be swollen out with 
nothings. It is to you, dear friend, that I wish to 
open out my soui. that you may test it, and discern 
how sound it rings, and how deeply I have planted 
you in the recesses of my heart (19-29). From the 
day when I first put on the robe of manhood, when 
the two roads of life lay uncertainly before me, you 
took me under your guardian care ; you folded me to 
your Soeratic bosom, and taught me, with cunning 
hand, to discern the crooked and the straight. It 
was you who fashioned my soul ; you made our two 
lives into one, alike for work and play. Sure, sure 



am 1 that our two lives are derived from one common 
star, which links them both together (30-51). 

No two men have the same desires. One is a busy 
merchant, another longs for ease : games, gambling, 
and love have each their votaries, but when their 
joints have been broken by old age and gout, all alike 
bemoan their days of grossness, and lament the life 
they have left behind them (52-61). Your delight 
is in study ; you love to sow in the hearts of youth 
the good grain of Cleanthes. But men will not 
learn the one true lesson of life : " To-morrow," they 
say, "will be soon enough," and then again, "to- 
morrow": a morrow which is for ever pursued and 
never reached (62-72). What we want is freedom ; 
but not the sort of freedom which is bestowed by 
the lictor's rod (73-82). " But is not the newly-made 
Davus free ? has he not liberty to do what he likes ? 
" Not so," says the Stoic ; " no man is free who has 
not learnt the proper uses of life ; no man is free to 
do what he will spoil in the doing of it. A doctor 
must understand medicine, a sailor navigation : how 
can a man live rightly if he does not understand the 
principle of right living, knowing what to aim at, 
what to avoid, how to behave in all the circumstances 
of life ? Satisfy me on these points, and I will call 
you free, and a wise man to boot : but if your know- 
ledge is but pretence, if you are but an ass in a lion's 
skin, reason will not listen to your claim ; naught 
but folly can come out of a fool, not one step can he 
take without going wrong" (83-123). "For all that 
I am free," you say. "What? do you know of no 
master but one who uses the rod? Are you not 
a slave when your passions drive you this way or 
that way as they will ? Avarice bids you rise and 



scour the seas for gain. Luxury warns you that you 
are mad in giving up, for filthy lucre's sake, all the 
ease and all the joys of life. Which master will you 
obey? And if you once break free, how long will 
you keep your freedom? (124-160). Oris it Love 
that enslaves you ? Chaerestratus feels his chain, 
but cannot make up his mind to break it : the 
slightest word from his mistress brings him back to 
her. What kind of freedom was it that he got from 
the lictor's rod ? " (161-175). And what of the candi- 
date for public office who courts the mob by shows ? 
What of the superstitions of the Jews, or the many 
magical follies to which men enslave themselves? 

At this philosophy the varicose Fulfennius laughs 
aloud, and bids a hundred pence for a pack of 
your Greeklings (189-191). 



Vatibus hie mos est, centum sibi poscere voces, 
centum ora et linguas optare in carmina centum, 
fabula seu maesto ponatur hianda tragoedo, 
vulnera seu Parthi ducentis ab inguine ferrum. 

" Quorsum haec ? aut quantas robusti carminis 
offas 5 

ingeris, ut par sit centeno gutture niti ? 
grande locuturi nebulas Helicone legunto, 
si quibus aut Prognes aut si quibus olla Thyestae 
fervebit saepe insulso cenanda Glyconi. 
tu neque anhelanti, coquitur dum massa camino, 10 
folle premis ventos, nee clauso murmure raucus 
nescio quid tecum grave cornicaris inepte, 
nee scloppo tumidas intendis rumpere buccas. 

1 The reference is to Iliad ii. 489, where Homer says 
that ten tongues and ten voices would be all too few to 
recount the leaders of the Achaean host ; also to Virgil, who 
declares that a hundred tongues and a hundred voices would 
not be enough to tell all the forms of punishment in the 
lower world (Aen. vi. 625 foil.). See, too, Geor. ii. 43-4. 

2 This line is closely imitated from Hor. Sat. II. i. 15. 

3 A grotesque expression, after the manner of Persius. 
For whereas the demand made was for a hundred mouths 
for utterance, the speaker perverts the sense, and assumes 
that the hundred mouths are wanted for swallowing : aa 



Ft is the fashion of poets to cail for a hundred 
voices, a hundred mouths and a hundred tongues 
for their lays, 1 whether their theme be a play to 
be gaped out by a lugubrious tragedian, or a 
wounded Parthian plucking an arrow from his 
groin. 2 

5 " What are you driving at ? What are these big 
lumps of solid poetry that you would cram down 
the throat so as to need a hundred throat-power 
to grapple with them? 3 Let those who meditate 
lofty themes gather vapours on Mount Helicon, 4 if 
there be any who propose to set a-boiling the 
pot of Procne or of Thyestes, 5 whereby that dullard 
Glyco 6 may be provided .with his nightly supper. 
But you are not one that squeezes the wind like 
the bellows 7 of a forge when ore is a-smeltin<r, 
nor are you one who croaks to himself some solemn 
nonsense with hoarse mutterings like a crow ; nor 
do you swell out your cheeks till they burst with an 

though the poet were a glutton stuffing himself with Thyestean 

4 Helicon, near Delphi, was the mountain of the Muses. 

5 Referring to the grim tragic story of the supper off his 
own children that was served up to Tereus by his wife 

6 An actor of the time, who seems to have played the part 
of Tereus. 

7 The metaphor of the bellows is closely imitated from 
Hor. Sat. i. iv. 19 foil. 

3 6 9 
B B 


verba togae sequeris iunctura callidus acri, 

ore teres modico, pallentis radere mores 15 

doctus et ingenuo culpam defigere ludo. 

hinc trahe quae dicis * mensasque relinque Mycenis 

cum capite et pedibus plebeiaque prandia noris." 

Non equidem hoc studeo, pullatis 2 ut mihi nugis 
pagina turgescat dare pondus idonea fumo. 20 

secrete 3 loquimur. tibi nunc hortante Camena 
excutienda damus praecordia, quantaque nostrae 
pars tua sit, Cornute, animae, tibi, dulcis amice, 
ostendisse iuvat. pulsa dinoscere cautus 
quid solidum crepet et pictae tectoria linguae. 25 
hie ego centenas ausim deposcere fauces, 
ut quantum mihi te sinuoso in pectore fixi, 
voce traham pura, totumque hoc verba resignent 
quod latet arcana non enarrabile fibra. 

Cum primum pavido custos mihi purpura cessit 30 
bullaque subcinctis Laribus donata pependit, 
cum blandi comites totaque impune Subura 
permisit sparsisse oculos iam candidus umbo, 
cumque iter ambiguum est et vitae nescius error 

1 dicas L. 2 Some MSS. have bullatis. 3 secreti LA 2 . 

1 The toga was worn in comedy, as representing the dress 
of ordinary life, while the praetexta was worn in tragedy. 
This line, and especially the use of the word iunctura, is 
imitated from Hor. A. P. 47-8 and 242. 

2 The pallor, as elsewhere, is the pallor of debauchery. 

* The metaphor from unbaked pottery is repeated from 



explosive Pop \ No ; your language is that of every- 
day life ; l skilled in clever phrasing, rounded but not 
full-mouthed, you know well how to chide vicious 
ways, 2 how to hit off men's foibles with well mannered 
pleasantry. Let these be the sources from which you 
draw : leave to Mycenae her banquets, her heads 
and extremities, and make acquaintance with the 
dinners of common folk." 

19 Nay, indeed, it is no aim of mine that my 
page should swell with pretentious trifles, fit only to 
give solidity to smoke. To yourself alone, Cornutus, 
do I speak ; I now shake out my heart to you 
at the bidding of the Muse ; it is a joy to me 
to show you, beloved friend, how large a portion 
of my soul is yours. Strike it and note carefully 
what part of it rings true, 3 what is but paint and 
plaster of the tongue. It is for this that I would 
ask for a hundred voices : that I may with clear 
voice proclaim how deeply I have planted you in the 
recesses of my heart, and that my words may render 
up all the love that lies deep and unutterable in my 
inmost soul. 

30 When first as a timid youth I lost the guardianship 
of the purple, and hung up my bulla as an offering 
to the short-girt household gods ; in the days when 
comradeship was sweet, and my gown, now white, 4 
permitted me freely to cast my eyes over the whole 
Subura— at the age when the path of life is doubt- 
ful, and wanderings, ignorant of life, parted my 

iii. 21. 22. The phrase pictae tectoria linguae is strained, 
combining as it does two different ideas :— lit. " the plaster 
of a painted tongue." 

4 Not "my yet unsullied gown" (Conington\ but "my 
gown now white," as distinguished from the toga praetexta 
of boyhood. 


B B 2 


diducit l trepidas ramosa in compita mentes, 35 

me tibi supposui. teneros tu suscipis annos 
Socratico, Cornute, sinu. tunc fallere sollers 
adposita intortos extendit regula mores 
et premitur ratione animus vincique laborat 
artificemque tuo ducit sub pollice vultum. 40 

tecum etenim longos memini consumere soles 
et tecum primas epulis decerpere noctes. 
unura opus, et requiem pai-iter disponimus ambo, 
atque verecunda laxamus seria mensa. 
non equidem hoc dubites, amborum foedere certo 45 
consentire dies et ab uno sidere duci. 
nostra vel aequali suspendit tempora Libra 
Parca tenax veri, seu nata fidelibus hora 
dividit in Geminos concordia fata duorum, 
Saturnumque gravem nostro love frangimus una, 
nescio quod certe est quod me tibi temperat astrum. 
1 diducit A 2 and others : diducit Pa Biich. 1S93, Owen. 


1 These lines repeat, in a more complicated form, the idea 
of the branching ways given in iii. 56-57 ; and just as in the 
former passage the reading diduxit, though not that of the 
best MSS., is to be preferred to deduxit, so here diducit, 
though hard to translate, may perhaps be preferred to deducit. 
Cum iter ambiguum est denotes the point at which the choice 
has to be made, when vitae nescius error, "the ignorant 
wanderings of childhood," diducit trepidas mentes, i.e. "parts, 
or draws asunder," the youthful mind into the two branch- 
ing ways. The phrase illustrates the tendency of Persius to 
jumble two separate ideas into one, a new idea being intro- 
duced before he has finished off the old. The less natural, 
the more tortuous, the expression, the more is it after the 
manner of Persius. Deducit would have the simpler meaning 
" leads down the mind to the point where the roads begin to 
diverge" (Conington). 

2 We have here repeated from iv. 11-12, in a more grotesque 
form, the idea of a moral foot-rule. In the former passage 
the truly moral man can distinguish the crooked from the 



trembling soul into the branching cross-ways 1 — 1 
placed myself in your hands, Cornutus; you took up 
my tender years in your Socratic bosom. Your rule, 
applied with unseen skill, straightened out the 
crooked ways ; " my soul, struggling to be mastered, 
was moulded by your reason, and took on its features 
under your plastic thumb. With you, I remember, 
did I pass long days, with you pluck for feasting 
the eai-ly hours of night. We two were one in our 
work ; we were one in our hours of rest, and unbent 
together over the modest board. Of this I would 
not have you doubt, that there is some firm bond 
of concord between our lives, and that both are 
drawn from a single star. 3 Either a truth-abiding 
Fate hangs our destinies on the even-balanced Scales, 
or if the hour which dawned upon the faithful paii 
distributes between the Twins the accordant destinies 
of us twain, 4 and a kindly Jupiter has vanquished for 
us the malignancy of Saturn, 5 some star assuredly 
there is which links your lot with mine. 

straight even when his foot-rule has a crooked leg {i.e. is off 
the square) ; in the present passage the moral foot-rule of 
Cornutus is so perfect that it cunningly and insensibly 
straightens out the most twisted ways : his teaching is so 
skilfully applied that the pupil is led on to virtue without 
effort, scarcely knowing it himself. 

3 The passage which follows (45-51) is closely imitated 
from Hor. Od. n. xvii. 15-24. I have followed the translation 
and interpretation given by Professor Housman (I.e. pp. 16- 
18). The horoscope is the sign of the zodiac which rises at the 
moment of birth ; Persius chooses the signs of the Balance 
and the Twins, as both are suggestive of close friendship. 

4 The translation given above for lines 48 and 49 {seu nata 
. . . duorum) is that given by Professor Housman. He takes 
sen in line 48 as equivalent to vel si (I.e. p. 20). 

5 The influence of Saturn was always malignant, that of 
Jupiter favourable (Hor. Od. II. xvii. 23-25). Compare the 
use of our words " saturnine " and "jovial." 





Mille hominum species et rerum discolor usus ; 
velle suum cuique est, nee voto vivitur uno. 
mercibus hie Italis mutat sub sole recenti 
rugosum piper et pallentis grana cumini, 55 

hie satur inriguo mavult turgescere somno, 
hie campo indulget, hunc alea decoquit, ille 
in venerem putris ; set cum lapidosa cheragra 
fecerit 1 articulos veteris ramalia fagi, 
tunc crassos transisse dies lucemque palustrem 
et sibi iam seri vitam 2 ingemuere relictam. 2 

At te nocturnis iuvat inpallescere chartis ; 
cultor enim iuvenum purgatas inseris aures 
fruge Cleanthea. petite hinc puerique senesque 
finem animo certum miserisque viatica canis. 
"eras hoc net." idem eras net. 3 "quid? quasi 

nempe diem donas ?" sed cum lux altera venit, 
iam eras hesternum consumpsimus ; ecce aliud eras 
egerit hos annos et semper paulum erit ultra, 
nam quamvis prope te, quamvis temone sub uno 70 

i fecerit a Biich : fregerit TL Seh.Owen. 
* vitam relictam aL Biich. 1893, Owen: vita rehcta P (see 
iii. 38), Biich. 1910. 3 eras fiat a. So Housm. 

1 See Hor. Sat. n.'L 17: Q'tot capitum vivunt totidem 

studiorum Millia. _ 

a i e the life of virtue which they have abandoned. Pro- 
fessor ' Housman takes this somewhat differently: "they 
mourn that life is a thing which they have left untouched 
(I.e. p. 21). For the general meaning, cf. m. 38: virtutem 
videaut intabe scant que relicta. 

3 Clean thes (born at Assos about B.C. 300) was a pupil of 
Zeno, the founder of the Stoical school, and had Chrysippus 
for his pupil. 



52 Men are of a thousand kinds, 1 and diverse are 
the colours of their lives. Each has his own desires ; 
no two men offer the same prayers. One under an 
Eastern sun barters Italian wares for shrivelled 
pepper, or for the blanching cumin-seed ; another 
grows fat with good cheer and balmy slumbers. 
A third is all for field games ; a fourth loses his 
all over the dice box ; a fifth ruins himself by 
love : but when once the knotty gout has broken 
up their joints till they are like the boughs of an old 
beech tree, they lament that their days have been 
passed in grossness, that their light has been that of 
a mist, and bemoan too late the life which they have 
left behind them. 2 

62 But your delight has been to grow pale over 
nightly study, to till the minds of the young, and to 
sow the seed of Cleanthes 3 in their well-cleansed 
ears. Seek thence all of you, young men and old 
alike, a sure aim for your desires, and provisions for 
the sorrows of old age ! " So I will, to-morrow," 
you say : but to-morrow you will say the same as to- 
day. 4 " What ? " you ask, " do you think it a great 
thing to present me with a single day?" — No, but 
when to-morrow comes, yesterday's morrow will have 
been already spent : and lo ! a fresh morrow will 
be for ever making away with our years, each just 
beyond our grasp. For though the tire is close 
to you, and revolves under the self-same pole, you 

4 i e. " it will be the same story again to-morrow " : "you 
■will then again say ' to-morrow.' " Professor Housman reads 
fiat, following AB, and explains : "The new life shall begin 
to-morrow," says the sluggard. "No, no, let the old life 
continue to-morrow," answers Persius ; " the day after to- 
morrow will be soon enough to begin the new." 



vertentem sese frustra sectabere canthum, 
cum rota posterior curras et in axe secundo. 

Libertate opus est. non hac, ut quisque Velina 
Publius emeruit, scabiosum tesserula far 
possidet. heu steriles veri, quibus una Quiritem 75 
vertigo facit. hie Dama est non tresis agaso, 
vappa lippus et in tenui fan-agine mendax ; 
rerterit hunc dominus, momento turbinis exit 
Marcus Dama : papae, Marco spondente recusas 
credei-e tu nummos ? Marco sub iudice palles ? 80 
Marcus dixit,, ita est. adsigna, Marce, tabellas. 
haec mera libertas, hoc nobis pillea donant. 

"An quisquam est alius liber, nisi ducere vitam 
cui licet ut libuit ? licet ut volo vivere : non sum 
liberior Bruto ? " "mendose colligis/' inquit 85 

stoicus hie aurem mordaci lotus aceto : 
"hoc reliqum accipio, ' licet' illud et ' ut volo ' tolle." 

1 This passage has caused much trouble to commentators, 
but can be simply explained. " We have need of liberty 
(i.e. the true liberty) — a kind of liberty not possessed b}' any 
Publius (any Tom, Dick, or Harry) who by getting enrolled 
in the Veline tribe becomes the owner of a ticket entitling 
him to a mouldy ration of corn." Hae stands for the true 
kind of liberty: "it is not by that sort of liberty that 
Publius becomes possessed of a corn-ticket." (See Professor 
Housman, I.e. p. 23.) The Veline tribe was the latest addi- 
tion to the local tribes instituted by Servius Tullius, making 
up the total to thirty-five, a number which was never 
exceeded. The allusion in tesserula is to the free distribu- 
tion of corn made to all citizens enrolled in the tribes. 

2 The process of manumission here ridiculed was that by 
the rod {vindicta). The master took the slave before the 
Praetor or other magistrate, a third person touched the 



will in vain pursue it, seeing that your wheel is the 
hind wheel, and that your axle is the second, not 
the first. 

73 What we want is true liberty ; ] not by that 
kind is it that any Publius enrolled in the Veline 
tribe becomes the possessor of a ticket for a ration 
of mangy corn. O souls barren of truth, you who 
think that one twirl of the thumb can make a Roman 
citizen ! Look at Dama here : an under-strapper 
not worth three groats ; blear-eyed from drink ; a 
man who would tell a lie about a half-feed of corn : 
his master gives him one spin, when lo and behold ! 
in the tm-ning of a top, he comes forth as Marcus 
Dama ! 2 — " What ? Do you hesitate to lend money 
when Marcus is the surety ? — Are you uneasy with 
Marcus for a judge?" — " Marcus has said it, it must 
be so ! " — " Pray, Marcus, put your signature to these 
deeds." — This, indeed, is liberty undefiled ! This is 
the kind we get from our caps of liberty ! 

83 " And pray how otherwise would you describe 
a free man than as one who is free to live as he 
chooses ? I am free to live as / choose : am I not 
more free than Brutus ? " — " Your logic is at fault," 
says my Stoical friend, whose ears have been well 
washed with pungent vinegar : " I accept the rest ; 
but you must strike out the words f you are free' 
and f as you choose."' 

slave with the rod (virga or festuca or vindicta), saying 
" Hunc hominem liberum esse aio." The master then acknow- 
ledged the claim by turning the man round, with the words 
"Hunc hominem liberum esse aio." The ceremony was then 
complete. See below, S8. The newly-enfranchised citizen 
at once rejoices in a praenomtn ; so Hor. Sat. n. v. 32. 
" Quint e" puia, ant " Publi" (gaudent praenomine molles 




" Vindicta postquam meus a praetore recessi, 
cur milii non liceat, iussit quodcumque voluntas, 
excepto siquid Masuri rubrica vetavit?" 

Disce, sed ira cadat naso rugosaque sanna, 
dum veteres avias tibi de pulmone revello. 
non praetoris erat stultis dare tenvia rerum 
officia, atque usum rapidae permittere vitae ; 
sambucam citius caloni aptaveris alto. 95 

stat conti-a ratio et secretam garrit in aurem, 
ne liceat facere id quod quis vitiabit l agendo, 
publica lex hominum naturaque continet hoc fas, 
ut teneat vetitos inscitia debilis actus, 
diluis elleborum certo conpescere puncto 100 

nescius examen : vetat hoc natura medendi. 
navem si poscat sibi peronatus arator 
Luciferi rudis, exclamet 2 Melicerta perisse 
frontem de rebus. 

Tibi recto vivere talo 
ars dedit et veri 3 speciem 4 dinoscere calles, 105 

nequa subaerato mendosum tinniat auro ? 

1 vitiabit L 2 Sell.: vitiavit PaL 1 . 2 exclamat P. 

3 veri aL Prise. : veris PBiich.Owen. 

4 speciem P Prise. : specimen aL. 

1 Masurius Sabinus was a distinguished jurist in the reign 
of Tiberius. The titles of laws were written in red ink. 

2 These words come naturally from a Stoic. The Stoical 
doctrine of Nature had much to do with the adoption by 
Roman jurists of the theory of a "Law of Nature," the 
principles of which were applied to those who, not being 
Roman citizens, could not claim the benefit of pure Roman 
Law (ius civile). Maine shows in his Ancient Law how this 
fiction of a " Law of Nature " lay at the root of what we call 



88 {( What ? When on leaving the Praetor's pres- 
ence I had been made my own master by his rod, 
why am I not free to do everything that I want 
to do, excepting only what the red-titled Law of 
Masurius l forbids ? " 

91 Just listen then, and drop that wrath and those 
curling sneers from off your nose, while I pluck your 
old wife's notions out of your head. It was no part 
of the Praetor's business to impart to fools a delicate 
sense of duty, or empower them to make a right use 
of our fleeting life : it would be more easy to fit 
a hulking clodhopper with a harp. Reason forbids, 
and whispers privately into the ear that no man 
be allowed to do what he will spoil in the doing of it. 
The public law of man and Nature 2 herself lay down 
this rule, that ignorance and imbecility should hold 
action to be forbidden them. 3 If you would com- 
pound hellebore when you do not know at what point 
to steady the tongue of the steel-yard, the principles 
of the healing art forbid ; if a hobnailed countryman, 
who knows nothing of the morning star, were to 
ask for the command of a ship, Melicerta 4 would de- 
clare that modesty had perished from off the earth. 

104 Has Philosophy taught you how to live rightly ? 5 
Are you skilled in discerning the appearance of truth, 
that there be no false ring of copper underneath the 

"Equity" in English law. The instrument by which the 
idea of a "Law of Nature" was grafted on to Roman law 
was the Praetor's Edict, each Praetor adopting and carrying 
on the Edict of his predecessor. 

3 This may either mean " may deem them to be forbidden to 
them " (which is precisely what incompetence never does), or 
else ' ' holds back or checks action as though it were forbidden." 

4 Melicertes, otherwise Palaemon, was a sea deity. 

6 The catechism which follows seems modelled upon Hor. 
Epp. ii. ii. 205-211.. 



quaeque sequenda forent quaeque evitanda vicissim, 
ilia prius creta, mox haec carbone notasti ? 
es modicus voti, presso lare, dulcis amicis ? 
iam nunc adstringas, iam nunc granaria laxes, 110 
inque luto fixum possis transcendere nummum 
nee gluttu x sorbere salivam Mercurial em ? 
" haec mea sunt, teneo " cum vere dixeris, esto 
liberque ac sapiens praetoribus ac love dextro. 
sin tu, cum fueris nostrae paulo ante farinae, 115 

pelliculam veterem retines et fronte politus 
astutam vapido servas in pectore volpem, 
quae dederam supra relego 2 funemque reduco : 
nil tibi concessit ratio ; digitum exere, peccas, 
et quid tarn parvum est? sed nullo ture litabis, 120 
haereat in stultis brevis ut semuncia recti, 
haec miscere nefas ; nee, cum sis cetera fossor, 
tris tantum ad numeros satyrum moveare Bathylli. 
" Liber ego." unde datum hoc sumis, 3 tot sub- 
dite rebus ? 
an dominum ignoras nisi quern vindicta relaxat ? 125 

1 gluttu P : glutlo aL. 2 Some MSS. have repelo. 

3 gamin PL 2 : sentis aL 1 (cf. Hor. Sat. n. ii. 31). 

1 Mercury being the god of gain. 

2 Here Persius, in his effort to combine two passages from 
Horace into a single phrase, perpetrates a gross confusion *)f 
metaphors. In the one passage {Sat. I. vi. 22) Horace alludes 
to the ass in the lion's skin, in the other {Sat. II. iii. 186) to 
that of the fox dressed up as a lion. The words farinae 
nostrae (" of the same flour as ourselves") introduce a new 
metaphor; and when he says pelliculam veterem, "the old 



gold? Have you marked off the things to be aimed 
at, and those again to be avoided — the former with 
a white stone, the latter with a black? Are you 
moderate in your desires, modest in your estab- 
lishment, and kindly to your friends ? Can you 
now close your granaries, and now again throw them 
open? Can you pass by a coin sticking in the 
mud, without gulping down your saliva in your 
greed for treasure ? : When you can truly say, "Yes, 
all these things are mine," I will call you a free 
and a wise man, under the favour of praetors and of 
Jove ; but if, after having been but a little ago of 
the same stuff as ourselves, you hold to your old skin, 
and though your brow be smooth, still keep a crafty 
fox 2 in that vapid heart of yours, I take back what 
I have just granted you and pull in my rope. Not 
one point has reason granted you ; put out your 
finger (and what can be a slighter thing than that ?) 
and you go wrong : not all the incense in the world 
will win leave from the Gods that one short half- 
ounce of wisdom may find lodgment in the head of a 
fool ! To mingle 3 the two things is sacrilege ; if you 
are a clown in all else, you cannot dance as much as 
three steps of the Satyr of Bathyllus. 4 

124 tc yet for all that I am free," you say. And 
what is your ground of confidence, you that are a 
slave to so many masters ? Do you know of no master 
but the one from whom the praetor's rod sets you 

skin," what he means is that the real nature of the fox 
remains unchanged beneath the skin. 

3 Miscere is exactly the right word here, being used of 
mingling things which have no proportion or affinity to each 
other, as distinguished from temperare, "to mix in due 

4 A comic dancer of the time. 



" i puer et strigiles Crispini ad balnea defer ! " 
si increpuit, " cessas nugator ? " servitium acre 
te nihil inpellit, nee quicquam extrinsecus intrat 
quod nervos agitet ; sed si intus et in iecore aegro 
nascuntur domini, qui tu inpunitior exis 130 

atque hie, quern ad strigiles scutica et metus egit 

Mane piger stertis. "surge," inquit Avaritia, 

" heia 
surge." negas. instat: "surge," inquit. "non 

queo.'' "surge.'' 
"et quid agam?" "rogas? en saperdas advehe 

castoreum, stuppas, hebenum, tus, lubrica Coa ; 135 
tolle recens primus piper ex 1 sitiente camelo ; 
verte aliquid ; iura." "sed Iuppiter audiet." 

baro, 2 regustatum digito terebrare salinum 
contentus perages, si vivere cum love tendis." 
lam pueris pellem succinctus et oenophorum 

aptas; 140 

"ocius ad navem ! " nihil obstat quin trabe vasta 
Aegaeum rapiaSj ni sollers Luxuria ante 
seductum moneat : " quo deinde, insane, mis, quo ? 
quid tibi vis? calido sub pectore mascula bilis 

1 e <p: et PaL ; and so Housm. 
1 baro I n a : varo P 2 A 2 L. 

1 The word verte is usually explained as = the phrase 
versuram facere, " to borrow " ; properly to borrow from one 
man in order to pay another. But the word may denote 



free ? If somebody sharply bids you take Crispinus' 
scrapers to the bath, and then abuses you as a 
lazy scoundrel, no strict bond of slavery, certainly, 
bids you stir, no force from without comes in to 
move your muscles ; but if masters grow up within, 
in that sickly bosom of yours, how do you get oft 
scot-free any more than the man who was sent 
off to fetch the scrapers by the terror of his master's 
whip ? 

132 You are snoring lazily in the moraing : " Up 
you get," says Avarice; "come, up with you!" — 
You do not budge : " Up, up with you ! " she cries 
again.---" O, I can't ! " you say. — "Rise, rise, I tell 
you ! "— " O dear, what for ? "— " What for ? Why, 
to fetch salt fish from Pontus, beaver oil, tow, ebony, 
frankincense and glossy Coan fabrics ; be the first to 
take the fresh pepper off the camel's back before he 
has had his drink ; do some bartering, 1 and then 
forswear yourself." — "O, but Jupiter will hear ! " — 
" Whew ! if you mean to live on terms with Jupiter, 
you must just go on as you are, content to be a simple- 
ton scraping and scraping away with your thumb at 
the salt-cellar which you have so often tasted." 2 

140 And now you are all ready, piling packing-cases 
and wine-jars on to your slaves. " Quick aboard ! " 
you cry ; there's nothing now to stop you from 
scudding over the Aegean in a big ship, were it 
not that crafty Luxury takes you aside for a word 
of remonstrance : " Where are you off to now, you 
madman ? What do you want ? What masterful 

mere bargaining or exchange: "exchange something," i.e. 
" enter into trade and then help yourself by perjury." 

2 The phrase a\ia.v rpv-nuv is said of those who have come 
to the end of their resources through poverty. 



intumuit, quam non extinxerit urna cicutae ? 145 

tu mare transilias ? tibi torta cannabe fulto 

cena sit in transtro Veientanumque rubellum 

exlialet 1 vapida laesum pice sessilis obba? 

quid petis? ut nummi, quos hie quincunce modesto 

nutrieras, peragant 2 avidos sudore deunces ? 150 

indulge genio, carpamus dulcia, nostrum est 

quod viviSj cinis et manes et fabula fies. 

vive memor leti, fugit hora, hoc quod loquor inde est." 

En quid agis? duplici in diversum scinderis hamo. 
huncine an hunc sequeris? subeas alternus oportet 155 
ancipiti obsequio dominos, alternus oberres. 
nee tu cum obstiteris semel instantique negaris 
parere imperio, "rupi iam vincula " dicas ; 
nam et luctata canis nodum abripit, at tamen illi_, 
cum fugit, a collo trahitur pars longa catenae. 160 

" Dave, cito, hoc credas iubeo, finire dolores 
praeteritos meditor " : crudum Chaerestratus un- 

adrodens ait haec. "an siccis dedecus obstem 
cognatis ? an rem patriam rumore sinistra 
1 exalet P 1 : exalat P 2 . 2 pergant a. 

1 A quincunx was five ounces, of which there were twelve to 
the as, or pound. In calculating interest, five-twelfths of an 
as on 100 asses paid monthly was equivalent to five per cent, 
per annum ; similarly eleven ounces a month would bo equi- 
valent to eleven per cent. 



humour is that swelling in your fevered heart so 
that a whole gallon of hemlock cannot assuage it? 
What? You to go skipping over the sea? You to 
take your dinner on a bench, with a coiled cable for a 
cushion, while a dumpy pot exhales for you the fumes 
of some reddish Veientine wine that has been spoilt 
because of the pitch going bad ? What would you 
be at? Is it that the money which you have been 
nursing at a modest five per cent. 1 shall go on until 
it sweats out an e-xorbitant eleven ? No, no ; give 
your Genius a chance ! Let us gather our sweets ! 
Our life is our own to-day, to-morrow you will be 
dust, a shade, and a tale that is told. Live mindful 
of death ; the hour flies ; the word that I speak is 
so much taken from it." 

154 What are you to do ? Two hooks are pulling 
you in different ways ; are you to follow this one or 
that ? With wavering allegiance jt>u must needs sub- 
mit to each master by turns, and by turns break away 
from him. Nor if you have once made a stand, and 
refused the imperious command, can you say, " Now 
I have broken my chain " ; for though even a dog 
may struggle against his chain and break it, yet as 
he runs away a good length of it will be trailing 
from his neck. 

i6i a Here, Davus, quick ! I am in real earnest ; I 
mean 2 to bring my past follies to an end." So 
says Chaerestratus, biting his nails to the quick. 
" What ? Am I to be a stumbling block and a 
scandal to my excellent relations ? Am I to lose 

2 The passage which follows is taken from the Eunuchus of 
Menander, translated by Terence ; Persius gives the names 
Chaerestratus and Davus as in the Greek play, instead of 
Phaedria and Parmenio as in Terence. 

c c 


limen ad obscaenum frangam, dum Chrysidis udas 165 
ebrius ante fores extincta cum face canto ? " 
" euge puer, sapias, dis depellentibus agnam 
percute." "sed censen, plorabit, Dave, relicta?" 
" nugaris ; solea, puer, obiurgabere rubra, 
ne trepidare velis atque artos rodere casses ! 170 

nunc ferus et violens ; at si vocet, liaut mora, dicas 
< quidnam igitur faciam? nee nunc, cum arcessat 1 

et ultro 
supplicet, accedam ? ' si totus et integer illinc 
exieras, 2 nee nunc." hie hie quod quaerimus, 

hie est, 
non in festuca, lictor quam iactat ineptus. 175 

Ius habet ille sui, palpo quem ducit hiantem 
cretata ambitio ? vigila et cicer ingere large 
rixanti populo, nostra ut Floralia possint 
aprici meminisse senes ! quid pulchrius ? at cum 
Herodis venere dies unctaque fenestra 180 

dispositae pinguem nebulam vomuere lucernae 
portantes violas rubrumque amplexa catinum 
1 accessor a : accersor L. 3 exieris IA 

1 Another word for the vindicta, the rod by which the 
elave was claimed for freedom. 

2 i.e. the man ambitious of public office. All candidates 
for public offices had their toga artificially whitened, and 
hence were called candidati. 

3 Candidates sought to gain popularity by exhibiting public 
games. At these games, especially at the Floralia, celebrated 
from April 28 to May 3, peas and other vegetables were often 
scrambled for by means of tickets (tesserae). Horace thus 
addresses a candidate for office : In cicere atque /aba bona tu 



alike my patrimony and my character by singing 
drunken songs, with my torch put out, before my 
mistress's dripping door ? " "Bravo! my young sir. 
Show your good sense, and slay a lamb to the Protect- 
ing Deities ! " " But do you think, Davus, that she 
will cry if 1 leave her?" "You're just playing the 
fool ! And won't you be catching it, my boy, with her 
red slipper, just to teach you not to jib or to gnaw at 
the tight-drawn meshes ! At one moment you're all 
bluster and indignation ; next moment, if she call 
you back, you'll be saying, ' What am I to dor 
Am I not to go to her even now, when she sends for 
me, and actually implores me to return ? ' No, no, 
say I, not even now, if once you have got away from 
her entire and heart-whole." Here, here is the fi*ee- 
dom we are looking for, not in the stick 1 brandished 
by that nincompoop of a lictor. 

176 And that white-robed 2 wheedler there, dragged 
open-mouthed by his thirst for office — is he his own 
master? Up with you before dawn, and deal out 
showers of vetches for the people to scramble for, 
that old men sunning themselves in their old age may 
tell of the splendour of our Floralia ! 3 How grand ! 
But when Herod's birthday 4 comes round, when 
the lamps wreathed with violets and ranged round 
the greasy window-sills have spat forth their thick 
clouds of smoke, when the floppy tunnies' tails are 
curled round the dishes of red ware, and the white 

perdasque lupinis (Sat. n. iii. 182). These games were at- 
tended by great license, especially among women (Ov. Fast. v. 
183-378 ; Juv. vi. 249-250). Hence the mention of them here 
leads naturally on to the consideration of the superstitious 
observances mentioned in the next section (179-188). 

4 Apparently the birthday of Herod the Great. The 
Romans regarded the Jews as practising the basest of all super- 
stitions. See notes on Juv. xiv. 96-106 and vi. 542-547. 

c c 2 


cauda natat thynni, tumet alba fidelia vino, 
labra moves tacitus recutitaque sabbata palles. 
turn nigri lemures ovoque pericula rupto, 185 

turn grandes galli et cum sistro lusca sacerdos 
incussere deos inflantis corpora, si non 
praedictum ter mane caput gustaveris alii. 
Dixeris haec inter varicosos centuriones, 
continuo crassum ridet Pulfenius ingens 
et centum Graecos curto centusse licetur. 


1 Isis was supposed to punish offenders with blindness 
(Juv. xiii. 93). 

2 The idea seems to be that of causing bodies to be pos- 
sessed by evil spirits as were the Gadarene swine. 



jars are swollen out with wine, you silently twitch 
your lips, turning pale at the sabbath of the circum- 
cised. Then, again, there are the black spectres and 
the perils of the broken egg; there are the huge 
priests of Ceres, and the one-eyed 1 priestess with 
her rattle, who drive demons into you 2 that make 
your bodies swell if you do not swallow the prescribed 
morning dose of three heads of garlic. 3 

189 jf y OU ta ]k j n this fashion among your varicose 
Centurions, the hulking Pulfennius straightway bursts 
into a huge guffaw, and bids a clipped hundred-penny 
piece for a lot of a hundred Greeks. 4 

3 Persius piles up a list of the best known superstitions. 
Line 186 refers especially to the rites of Cybele, with her 
eunuch priests (Galli), and of Isis. See Juv. ii. Ill ; vi 
512-13, and Hor. Epp. n. ii. 20S-9. 

4 Persius once more has his fling at the muscular soldier 



Has winter taken you back, Caesius Bassus, to your 
Sabine home, with that manly lyre of yours that 
strikes every note so fitly, whether grave or gay ? I 
am wintering in my own Luna, regardless of the 
multitude, without care of flocks, without envy ot 
inferiors richer than myself (1-17). Others may 
think differently ; there are some who meanly stint 
themselves on feast-days ; others waste their sub- 
stance in good living. Use what you have, say I ; 
thrash out your harvest, and commit a new crop 
to the soil (18-26). O, but a friend needs help, 
you say, lying shipwrecked on the Bruttian shore : 
then break off a bit of your estate for him, that 
he may not want. "What? am I to incur the 
wrath of my heir, and tempt him to neglect my 
funeral rites?" Bestius does well in condemning 
all foreign notions (27-40). Come, my heir, let 
me have a quiet talk with you. Have you heard 
that there's grand news from the front? that the 
Germans have had a tremendous smashing, and 
that there are to be rejoicings on a grand scale? 
Woe to you if you don't join in ! I am going to 
treat the multitude: do you dare stay my hand? 
(41-52). Well, if you refuse, and if 1 can find no 
legitimate heir of my own ; if I can find no relation, 
male or female, sprung from ancestors of mine up to 
the fourth generation, I will go to Bovillae and find 



one on the beggars' stand (52-60). Do you object 
to my spending on myself some part of what is my 
own ? You Avill have the rest : take what I leave 
you and be thankful ; don't force me to live scurvily 
for your benefit, and don't serve up to me wise 
sayings about living on one's income and keeping 
one's capital intact. Am I to be starved in order 
that some scape-grace heir of yours may grow a 
belly ? Sell your life for gain ; ransack the world in 
your quest for wealth ; let it come back to you with 
a two-fold, a three-fold, ay a ten-fold increase : if 
you can tell me where to stop, Chrysippus, your 
fallacy of the Sorites will have been solved (61-80) ! 



Admovit iam bruma foco te, Basse, Sabino? 
iamne lyra et tetrico vivunt tibi pectine chordae ? 
mire opifex numeris veterum primordia vocum 
atque marem strepitum fidis intendisse Latinae, 
mox iuvenes agitare iocos et pollice honesto 5 

egregius x lusisse senex. 2 mihi nunc Ligus ora 
intepet hibernatque 3 meum mare, qua latus ingens 
dant scopuli et multa litus se valle receptat. 
" Lunai portum, est operae, cognoscite, cives " : 
cor iubet hoc Ennr, postquam destertuit esse 10 

Maeonides, quintus pavone ex Pythagoreo. 

1 aegrcgius a : aegraecius P 1 : aegregios P 2 L. 

2 series P 2 L. 

5 Housm. suggests mite tepet vernatque {I c. pp. 28-7). 

1 The phrase primordia vocum is from Lucretius, iv. 531, 
who uses it to mean the hodily " first beginnings of voices," 
i.e. the actual corporeal atoms of which he supposes voices 
and words to consist. Here it seems to refer to the beginnings 
of Latin, with an indication of the manly and archaic character 
of the style of Bassus, 

2 The readings vary between egregius senex and egregios 
series. Conington translates senex, but has senes in his text. 
Biich. reads egregius senex. 


^ tW« <*& H& 


Has winter yet brought thee, Bassus,to thy Sabine 
hearth? Are thy lyre and its strings still alive 
under thy sturdy quill? Thou that art so rare a 
craftsman in setting to numbers the beginnings of 
our ancient tongue/ and bringing out the manly notes 
of the Latin lyre ; then again a wonderful old man 
to ply the youthful jest, and sing in lighter but not 
indecorous strains. 2 To me now the Ligurian coast, 
and my own winter sea, 3 are giving all their warmth : 
here the cliffs form a mighty wall, with a deep valley 
running in from the shore. "'Tis worth your while, 
O citizens, to know the port of Luna " : 4 so did 
Ennius speak his mind 5 when he had given up 
dreaming that he was Maeon's son, fifth in descent 
from the peacock of Pythagoras. 6 

3 For the difficulties raised by the words intepet and 
hibcrnat, see Professor Housman (I.e. p. 65). 

4 This line is a quotation from Ennius. 

5 The Romans considered the heart, not the brain, to be 
the seat of intelligence. Cicero quotes from Ennius the 
phrase egregie cordatus homo = " a clever man." 

6 This is the explanation of the Scholiast, who imagines 
Ennius in his dream to have gone through five transforma- 
tions, the stages being (1) Pythagoras, (2) a peacock, 
(3) Euphorbus, (4) Homer, (5) Ennius. But in his Annals 
Ennius only relates that he had seen Homer in a dream, 
who told him he had once been a peacock ; and it seems 
simpler to take Quint us to refer to Ennius' own praenomen, 
" when he ceased to dream himself Homer, becoming Quintus, 
i.e. himself (Quintus being his own praenomen) out of the 
Pythagorean peacock." 


Hie ego securus volgi et quid praeparet auster 
infelix pecori securus et angulus ille 
vicini nostro quia pinguior ; et si adeo omnes 
ditescant orti peioribus, usque recusem 15 

curvus ob id minui senio aut cenare sine uncto 
et signum in vapida naso tetigisse lagoena. 
discrepet his alius, geminos, horoscope, varo 
producis genio : solis natalibus est qui 
tinguat olus siccum muria vafer in calice empta, 20 
ipse sacrum inrorans patinae piper ; hie bona dente 
grandia magnanimus peragit puer. utar ego, utar, 
nee rhombos ideo libertis ponere lautus, 
nee tenuis sollers turdarum l nosse salivas. 

Messe tenus propria vive et granaria, fas est, 25 
emole. quid metuas? occa, et seges altera in 

herba est. 
at vocat officium, trabe rupta Bruttia saxa 
prendit amicus inops remque omnem surdaque vota 
condidit Ionio, iacet ipse in litore et una 
ingentes de puppe dei iamque obvia mergis 30 

costa ratis lacerae : nunc et de caespite vivo 
frange aliquid, largire inopL, ne pictus oberret 
caerulea in tabula, sed cenam funeris heres 
negleget hatus, quod rem curtaveris ; urnae 
ossa inodora dabit, seu spirent cinnama surdum 35 
1 tiirdarum~P 1 Sch.: turdorum aP 2 L. 

1 Adco here seems to be used in the old Plautine sense, 
- " Nay, more," " in addition to that." 

2 Lit. "goes through an entire property with his teeth," 
i.e. spends it in gormandising. 



12 Here I live, heedless of the mob, or of what 
trouble the baleful Auster may be brewing for my 
herd, untroubled because that corner of my neigh- 
bour's field is richer than my own — ay, 1 and though 
men of baser birth than I were growing rich, I should 
still refuse, on that account, to be bent double and 
grow thin with vexation, or to dine without a savoury, 
or explore with my nose the seal of a bottle of vapid 
wine. Others may think differently : one horoscope 
will bring forth twins of diverse temperament. One 
man, on birthdays only, moistens his dry cabbage 
with a brine which, knowing dog that he is, he 
has bought in a cup, sprinkling the sacred pepper 
over the platter with his own hand ; another is a 
lordly youth who runs through 2 a whole estate in 
gormandising. Enjoy what I have, say I ; being 
neither grand enough to feed my freedmen upon 
turbots, nor yet epicure enough to distinguish the 
fine flavour of a hen thrush. 

25 Use up your crop, and grind out your granaries, 
as is right. Why need you be afraid ? harrow again, 
and a second crop is in the blade. " But duty," you 
say, "has a call on you : a poor shipwrecked friend 
is clutching hold of the rocks of Bruttium, all his 
goods and his unheeded prayers sunk in the Ionian 
Sea ; he himself lies upon the shore, the great Gods 
from the ship's poop beside him ; the gulls are by this 
time flocking to the shattered timbers." Well then, 
break off a bit from your green turf, and bestow it on 
your needy friend, that he may not have to roam the 
country with his picture on a sea-green plank. But 
your heir, you say, will be wrathful that you have 
curtailed your property : he will stint the funeral feast, 
and will commit your bones unscented to the urn, 



seii ceraso peccent casiae, nescire paratus : 
"tune bona incolumis minuas ?" et Bestius ui-guet 
doctores Graios : " ita fit ; postquam sapere urbi 
cum pipere et palmis venit nostrum hoc maris 

faenisecae crasso vitiarunt unguine pultes." 40 

haec cinere ulterior metuas ? at tu, meus heres 
quisquis eris, paulum a turba seductior audi. 

O bone, num. ignoras ? missa est a Caesare laurus 
insignem ob cladem Germanae pubis, et aris 
frigidus excutitur cinis ac iam postibus arma, 45 

iam chlamydas regum, iam lutea gausapa captis 
essedaque ingentesque locat Caesonia Rhenos. 
dis igitur genioque ducis centum paria ob res 
egregie gestas induco. quis vetat ? aude. 
vae, nisi conives ! oleum artocreasque popello 50 
largior. an prohibes? die clare "non adeo," inquis, 

1 The name Bestius is taken from the corrector Bestius of 
Horace {Epp. I. xv. 37), and is used to represent the vulgar 
irrelevant critic, who connects all the evils of his day with 
the bringing in of new-fangled Greek learning along with 
foreign articles like pepper, dates, etc. " Your heir will 
snarl," says Persius, "and Bestius will talk drivel; but 
why should that trouble you in the grave?" Sapere of 
course has a punning meaning, referring to Greek Philosophy 
as well as to the smack of dates and pepper. 

2 The words maris expers are taken from Horace (Chium 
maris expers, )Sa<.ii.viii.l5), but the context is quite different 
from the Horatian. They have been usually explained as 
meaning "destitute of salt," and therefore "tasteless," or 
foolish. But Professor Housman has shown that Casaubon'a 
rendering, "destitute of virility," gives the true meaning 
(I.e. pp. 27-28). Bestius complains that modern Greek ideas 



not caring to enquire whether the cinnamon has lost 
its fragrance or the casia lias been adulterated with 
cherry. "What? " he will say, "are you to squander 
your property, and not suffer for it?" And then 
Bestius x has his fling at the Greek philosophers : 
" It's always so ; ever since this emasculated 2 wisdom 
of ours entered the city along with dates and pepper, 
our haymakers have spoilt their porridge with thick 
oils!" — What? are you to be afraid of taunts like 
these on the other side of the grave ? And as for you, 
my heir, whoever you may be, come away from the 
crowd for one moment and listen : — 3 

43 Have you not heard the news, my good fellow ? 
A laurelled despatch has arrived from Caesar because 
of a splendid victory over the Germans ; the cold 
ashes are being raked out from the altars ; Caesonia 4 
is contracting for arms to put up over the gates, with 
regal mantles, and yellow perukes for the prisoners, 
and chariots, and life-sized effigies of the Rhine. 5 
So in honour of the Gods and the Genius of our 
General, I am putting on a hundred pairs of gladia- 
tors to celebrate these grand doings. Who dares to 
say me nay ? Woe to you if you don't fall in with 
my humour ! I am giving the mob a largess of oil 
and bread and meat. Do you forbid ? Speak out 
plainly. " No, no," you say, " that field there close by 

have destroyed the old robustness of Rome : even the rustics 
have corrupted the homely porridge by mixing with it scented 

3 Persius remonstrates with his heir. On an occasion of 
national rejoicing, he intends to spend freely and patriotically 
(43-51). 4 Caligula's wife. 

5 Besides actual trophies, pictures illustrative of the recent 
campaign, and even pictures of rivers, were carried in a 
triumphal procession. 



"exossatus ager iuxta est." age, si mihi nulla 
iam reliqua ex ainitis, patruelis nulla, proneptis 
nulla manet patrui, sterilis matertera vixit, 
deque avia nihilum superest, accedo Bovillas 55 

clivumque ad Virbi, praesto est milii Manius heres. 
"progenies terrae ?" quaere ex me quis mihi quartus 
sit pater: haut prompte, dicam tamen; adde etiam 

unum etiam : terrae est iam Alius, et mihi ritu 
Manius hie generis prope maior avunculus exit. 60 
qui prior es, cur me in decursu lampada poscis ? 
sum tibi Mercurius, venio deus hue ego ut ille 
pingitur. an renuis ? vis tu gaudere relictis ? 
" dest aliquid summae." minui mihi, sed tibi totum 

quidquid id est. ubi sit, fuge quaerere, quod mihi 

quondam 65 

1 This obscure phrase has been variously explained. Exos- 
satus means "cleared of bones." Some interpret "cleared 
of stones," i.e. good land prepared for a crop ; others " land 
from which the bones, the strength and marrow of the soil, 
have been taken," and so "poor land." In line 51 Persius 
challenges his heir to reply. Conington takes adeo as a 
verb : "I decline the inheritance," says the heir ; to which 
Persius replies, " Here is a field, now, cleared for ploughing," 
for which I can easily find an heir. Professor Housman 
follows an interpretation given by Hermann : Persius says 
to his heir, "Do you forbid my extravagance? Tell me 
plainly." " I would rather not," says the heir ; " that field 
close by is far too full of stones"; i.e. he is afraid that the 
populace will stone him if he lifts his voice against the pro- 



is not sufficiently cleared of stones." l Well then, if 
none of my paternal aunts survives, if I have no cousin 
on my father's side, if my paternal uncle has left 
no great-grand-daughters, if my maternal aunt has 
died without issue, and there is no living descendant 
of my grandmother, I go off to Bovillae and the 
hill of Virbius, 2 and there I find in Manius an heir 
ready to my hand! "What? the son of a clod?" 
you say. Well, just ask of me who is my great- 
great-grandfather : I could tell you that, though 
perhaps not in a moment ; add one step more, 
and then again another, and by that time you come 
to a son of earth, so that by strict lineal ascent 
this Manius turns out to be a kind of great-great- 
uncle. Why do you, who are before me, ask for 
my torch while I am still running? 3 I am for 
you a Mercury, I come to you just as that God 
is represented in pictures. Do you reject the 
gift ? Won't you take what I leave you and be 
thankful? — "There is a shortage in the amount," 
you say. Yes ; I lessened it for my own use : but 
what remains, whatever it is, is all for you. Don't 

posed entertainment (I.e. p. 29). "Very well," says Persius, 
" I can find another heir elsewhere." 

2 i.e. the clivus Aricinus, near Bovillae, which was a great 
resort for beggars. Virbius, another name for Hippolytus, 
was worshipped at Aricia along with Diana. 

3 This line is evidently based on Lucretius, ii. 77 : Inque 
brevi spatio mulantur saecla animantvm, Et quasi cursores 
vitai lampada tradunt. The idea is that of passing on a 
blazing torch from one hand to another ; but it is not easy 
to reconcile the words qui prior es with the accounts given of 
the Athenian \a/j.-naSr]:popia. See Diet. Ant. It is not im- 
possible that Persius, whose phrases are taken from books 
rather than life, copied the phrase of Lucretius without quite 
realising its meaning. 



legarat Tadius, neu dicta repone x paterna, 

" faenoris accedat merces, hinc exime sumptus," 

"quid reliqumest?" reliqum? nunc nunc inpen- 

sius ungue, 
ungue, puer, caules ! milii festa luce coquatur 
urtica et fissa fumosum sinciput aure, 70 

ut tuus iste nepos olim satur anseris extis, 
cum morosa vago singultiet inguine vena, 
patriciae inmeiat vulvae ? mini trama figurae 
sit reliqua, ast illi tremat omento popa venter ? 
Vende animam lucro, mercare atque excute 

sollers '5 

omne latus mundi, ne sit praestantior alter 
Cappadocas rigida pinguis plausisse catasta, 
rem duplica. " feci ; iam triplex, iam mihi quarto, 
iam decies redit in rugam." depunge ubi sistam : 
inventus, Chrysippe, tui finitor acervi. 80 

1 repone L and old edd. Biich. has neu dicta " pone paterna 
. . . sumptus." "quid reliqum est?" Housm. suggests 
neu die ita, "pone paterna . . . reliqum est." reliqum? and 
explains, "Do not say 'state what you inherited, add in- 
terest, subtract expenditure, and see how much is left.' Left, 
quotha?" {I.e. p. 31). ita then means "as follows." Biich. 
takes pone to mean "invest." 

1 Cappadocian slaves, being tall, were much prized as 



ask where is the sum that Tadius left me long ago, 
and don't serve up to me your paternal saws: — " Let 
interest accrue on your capital, and take your ex- 
penses out of that." — "Yes, and what will be left?" 
" Left," do you ask ? Here, boy, drench the cabbage 
with oil, and d — n the expense ! Am I to have my 
holiday dinner off nettles and a smoked pig's cheek 
with his ear split through, in order that some day or 
other your young ne'er-do-weel may regale himself 
on a goose's liver? . . . Am I to be reduced to a 
thread-paper while his belly is to wag with fat like 
that of a priest ? 

• 6 Go, sell your soul for gain ; buy and sell ; ransack 
cunningly every corner of the earth, let no one out- 
strip you in patting fat Cappadocian 1 slaves in their 
pen ; turn every coin into two. " Done already," 
you say ; " with a threefold, fourfold, ay, and a ten- 
fold increase." 2 Mark the point at which I am to 
stop, and the finisher of your heap, 3 Chrysippus, will 
have been found ! 

2 Ruga is a "crease," or "fold," so that redire decies in 
rugam expresses exactly "a ten-fold increase." Many editors 
have wrongly explained the word as the fold or sinus in the 
toga, and so = "a purse." 

3 Referring to the well-known Sorites, the fallacy of the 
heap : Dwm cadat elusus ratione mentis acervi (Hor. Epp. II. 
i. 47). The analogous fallacy demonstrating the impossibility 
of motion was met by the famous " solvitur ambulando." 

D O 


D D 2 


Abdera, p. 194 n., p. 197 n. 

Accius, VI. 70 

Acestes, VII. 235 

Achilles, in. 280, VII. 210, VIII. 271, 

X. 256, XI. 30, XIV. 214, and 

notes on pp. 7, 146, 155, 181, 222 
Acilius, iv. 94 
Acilius Ulabrio p. 64 n. 
Acoeuoetus, p. 155 n. 
Actium, II. 109, p. 178 n. 
Actor, II. 100, p. 25 n. 
Aeacus, I. 10, vm. 270, p. 181 n. 
Aegean Sea, p. 8 n. 
Aelia, VI. 72 

Aemilianus, vm. 3, p. 158 n. 
Aemilius, VII. 124, p. 147 n. 
Aemilius Juncus, p. 291 n. 
Aeneas, I. 162, V. 139, XV. 67, 

p. 73 n., p. 225 n. 
Aeolus, I. 8 
Aethiopia, X. 150 
Aetna, p. 159 n. 
Airanius, p. 294 n. 
Atrica, VII. 149, vm. 120, X. 148, 

and notes on pp. 6, 148, 167 
Agamemnon, xiv. 286, and notes on 

pp. 175, 244, 285 
Aganippe, vn. 6 
Agathyrsians, XV. 125 
Agave, VII. 87 

Agrigentum, p. 123 n., p. 164 n. 
Agrippa, VI. 159 
Agrippa II., p. 95 n. 
Agrippa, Portico of, p. 95 n. 
Agrippina, VI. 620, p. 80 n., 

p. 134 n. 
Ajax, VII. 115, X. 84, XIV. 213, 

XV. 65, and notes on pp. 146, 

199, 222, 285 
Alabanda, in. 70 
Alba, IV. 61, V. 83 
Alban Mount, p. 2*0 n. 
Albanian, xm. 214 
Albina, in. 130 

Alcestis, vi. 652 

Alcinous, XV. 15 

Alexander, xiv. 311, p. 206 n. 

Alledius, v. 118 

Allia, p. 177 n. 

Allobrogicus, vm. 13 

Allobrogus, p. 155 n. 

Alps, X. 152, 166, XIII. 162 

Amphion, VI. 174, p. 97 n. 

Amydon, in. 69 

Anchises, VII. 234 

Ancona, rv. 40 

Ancus, v. 57 

Andromache, VI. 503, p. 124 n. 

Andros, III. 70 

Antaeus, m. 89, p. 38 n. 

Antony, x. 123, p. 19 n., p. 166 n. 

Anticyra, XIII. 97 

Antigone, vm. 229 

Antilochus, X. 253 

Antiochus, III. 98 

Antiphates, xiv. 20 

Antonia, p. 175 w. 

Antonius, vm. 105 

Anubis, VI. 534, p. 126 n. 

Apicius, IV. 23, XI. 3 

Apis, p. 160 n. 

Apollo, I. 128, VI. 171, 174, VII. 37, 

XIII. 203, and notes on pp. 13, 97, 

142, 181 
Appian Way, p. 32 n. 
Apulia, IX. 55 
Aqua Marcia, p. 33 n. 
Aquinum, m. 319, p. 57 ij. 
Arabarch, I. 130 
Arabia, p. 231 n. 
Arachne, II. 56 
Archigenes, VI. 236, Xln. 98, XIV. 

Argonauts, p. 95 n. 
Aristotle, n. 6, p. 258 n. 
Armillatus, IV. 53 
Arpinum, vm. 237, 245 
Artaxata, n. 170 



Artemis, p. 97 n., p. 297 n. 

Artorius, ill. 29 

Arviragus, IV. 127 

Asia, v. 56, vn. 14, X. 260 

Assaracus, X. 259 

Assouan, p. 230 n. 

Astrea, vi. 19, p. 84 n. 

Asturicus, III. 212 

Asylus, VI. 267 

Athene, p. 22 n. 

Athens, VI. 187, VII. 205, X. 127, 

XV. 110, p. 25 n., p. 136 n. 
Athos, X. 174 

Atlas, VIII. 32, XI. 24, XIII. 48 
Atticus, XI. 1 
Aufldius, IX. 25 
Augustus, p. 21 n. 
Aurelia, v. 98, p. 77 n. 
Aurunca, I. 20 
Automedon, I. 61 
Autonoe, VI. 72 
Aventine, in. 85 
Azov, p. 297 n. 

Babylon, p. 206 n., p. 207 re. 

Bacchanals, II. 3 

Baetica, XII. 42, p. 238 n. 

Baiae, in. 4, XI. 49 

Baptae, II. 92 

Baptism, p. 272 n. 

Barea, vn. 91 

Barea Soranus, p. 41 re. 

Basilus, vn. 145, 146, 147, X. 222 

Bassus, p. 154 n. 

Batavians, vm. 51 

Bathyllus, VI. 63 

Bebriacum, n. 106 

Bellerophon, X. 325, p. 217 rt. 

Bellona, IV. 124, VI. 511 

Bolus, VI. 655, p. 137 n. 

Berenice, VI. 156, p. 96 m. 

Bibula, VI. 142 

Bithynia, vn. 15, p. 205 n. 

Bona Dea,p. 18n.,p. 24 w., p. Ill n. 

Bootes, V. 23 

Bosporus, p. 290n. 

Brigante3, XIV. 196 

Britain, XV. Ill 

Britannicus, vi. 124, p. 92 re. 

Britons, II. 161, XV. 124 

Brutidius, x. 83 

Brutus, IV. 103, V. 37, VIU. 182, 

xrv. 43, p. 64 re. 
Bulla, p. 83 n., p. 249 n. 


Caeus, v. 125 

Caecilius, xvi. 46 

Caedicius, xni. 197 

Caesar, vn. 1, vm. 171, xu. 106, 

p. 24 re., p. 201 re. 
Caesonia, VI. 616 
Caieta, xiv. 87 
Calagurris, p. 294 n. 
Calenian Wine, I. 70, p. 8 re. 
Caligula, and notes on pp. 6, 133 

154, 155 
Calliope, IV. 34 
Calpe, XIV. 279 
Calvina, in. 133 
Calvinus, xni. 5 
Camerini, vn. 90 
Camerinus, vm. 38 
Camillus, II. 154, XVI. 15 
Campania, X. 283 
Campus Martius, p. 28 n., p. 126 re. 
Campi Raudii, p. 214 n. 
Cannae, VII. 163, X. 165, XI. 200 
Canopus, I. 26, VI. 84, XV. 46 
Cantabrian, XV. 108 
Cantabrians, p. 296 n. 
Captatores, p. 76 n. 
Capito, vm. 93, p. 246 re. 
Capitolinij II. 145 
Cappadocia, vn. 15 
Capreae, p. 198 n. 
Capri, X. 72, 93 
Carflnia, II. 69 
Carpophorus, VI. 199 
Carrinas, p. 154 n. # 

Carthage, vi. 171, x. 277 
Cassandra, x. 262 
Cassius, v. 37 

Castor, xm. 152, XIV. 260, p. 282 n. 
Catana, p. 159 n. 
Catiena, hi. 133 
Catiline, II. 27, vm. 231, X. 287, 

XIV. 41, p. 177 n., p. 215 n. 
Cato, II. 40, XI. 90 
Catulla, X. 322 
Catullus, iv. 113, vm. 186, xn. 29, 

37, 93, XIII. Ill, p. 84 n. 
Catulus, 11. 146, in. 30, p. 179 re. 
Cecropid, vm. 53 
Cecropidae, vm. 46 
Cecrops, p. 25 n. 
Celadus, vn. 215 
Celsus, VI. 245 
Censennia, VI. 136 
Census Equestris, p. 10 re. 
Centaur, p. 155 re. 


Centaurs, p. 2 n., p. 239 n. 

Centurion, Senior, p. 278 n. 

Ceres, III. 320, VI. 50, X. 112, XIV. 
219, 263, XV. 141, p. 57 n. 

Cethegus, n. 27, vra. 231, x. 287, 
p. 177 n. 

Chaerippus, vm. 95, p. 165 n. 

Charon, p. 165 n. 

Charybdis, v. 102, xv. 17 

Chatti, IV. 147, p. 68 n. 

Chiron, in. 205, p. 155 n. 

Christian martyrs, I. 155 

Chrysippus, n. 5, xm. 184 

Chrysogonus, VI. 74, vn. 176, 
p. 152 n. 

Circe, XV. 21, p. 290 n. 

Circeii, iv. 140 

Cicero, VII. 139, 214, X. 114, and 
notes on pp. 145, 154, 167, 177, 

Cicero, the Allobrogian, vn. 214 

Cilicia, notes on, pp. 164, 166, 282 

Cilicians, vm. 94 

Cirabrians, XV. 124 

Cimbri, vm. 249, 251, p. 179 n. 

Cirrha, vn. 64 

Claudius, V. 147, VI. 115, XIV. 330, 
and notes on pp. 50, 51, 134, 144, 
176, 217, 241, 270, 288 
Cleanthes, II. 7, p. 17 n. 
Cleopatra, II. 109 
Clio, VII. 7, p. 141 n. 
Clitumnus, xn. 13 
Clodius, II. 27, VI. 338, 345, and 

notes on pp. 18, 24, 111, 181 
Clotho, IX. 135 
Cluvienus, i. 80 
Clytemnaestra, VI. 656, p. 137 »., 

p. 175 n. 
Codes, vm. 264 
Codrus, III. 203, 208 
Colchis, XIV. 114 
Colline Gate, p. 106 «. 
Color, p. 105 n. 
Concord, Temple of, p. 13 n. 
Conopeum, p. 88 n. 
Coptus, XV. 28 
Coranus, xvi. 53 " 
Corbulo, in. 251 
Cordus, I. 2 
Corinthus, vm. 197 
Cornelia, vi. 167 
Corsica, v. 92 
Corus, x. 180 
Corvinus, 1. 108, Tin. 5, xn. 1, 93 

Corybants, v. 25 

Corycus, p. 282 n. 

Corydon, ix. 102 

Coryphaeus, vm. 62 

(Jossus, in. 184, vin. 21, x. 202 

Cotta, V. 109, vn. 95, p. 145 n. 

Cotytto, II. 92, p. 25 n. 

Crassi, x. 108 

Cremera, II. 155 

Crepereius Pollio, ix. 6 

Crete, xiv. 270, p. 249 n., p. 284 n. 

Creticus, n. 67, 78, VIII. 38 

Cretonius, xiv. 86 

Crispinus, I. 27, IV. 1, 14, 108 

Crispus, IV. 81, p. 63 n. 

Croesus, x. 274, xiv. 328 

Cumae, in. 2, 321, ix. 57 

Curii, II. 3 

Curius, n. 153, vm. 4, XI. 78 

Curtius, XI. 34 

Cyane, vm. 162 

Cybele, n. Ill, xiv. 263, p. 234 n. 

Cyclades, p. 129 n. 

Cyclopes, xv. 18 

Cylindrus, p. 22 n. 

Cydnus, p. 41 n. 

Cymbeline, p. 67 n. 

Cynics, xm. 121, 122, p. 254 n. 

Cynthia, vi. 7, p. 84 n. 

Daedalus, m. 25, p. 7 n., p. 38 n. 

Damasippus, vm. 185 

Danaids, p. 137 n. 

Danaus, p. 137 n. 

Danube, vm. 170 

Decii, vm. 254, 25S, Xiv. 239 

Delta, p. 292 n. 

Demetrius, in. 99 

Democritus, x. 34, p. 194 n.. 

p. 197 n. 
Demosthenes, x. 114, p. 203 n. 
Dendyra, p. 291 n. 
Deucalion, i. 81 
Diana, in. 320, X. 292, XV. 8 
Dido, VI. 435 
Diogenes, p. 286 n. 
Diomede, I. 53, p. 293 n. 
Dion Cassius, p. 198 n. 
Dionysus, p. 106 n., p. 142 n. 
Diphilus, m. 120 
Dolabella, vm. 106, p. 166 n. 
Domitian, notes on pp. 5, 19, 60. 65 

69, 115, 144, 257 
Domitius, vm. 228 



Doris, III. 94 

Drusi, vni. 40 

Drusu3, ill. 238, VIII. 21 

Furies, XIII. 51, xrv. 285, XVI. 46 

Fuscinus, xiv. 1 

Fuscus, iv. 112, xn. 45, p. 65 n. 

Enro, p. 294 n. 

Echlon, VI. 76 

Egeria, III. 17 , 

Egypt, VI. 527, XV. 2, 45, 116, and 

notes on pp. 13, 258, 291 
Electra, vni. 218 
Elephants, p. 242 n. 
Eleusinian mysteries, p. 298 n. . 
Elpenor, XV. 22 
Endromis, p. 102 n. 
Endymion, X. 318 
England, p. 278 n. 
Epictetus, p. 235 n. 
Epicurus, XIII. 122, XIV. 319 

Eppia, VI. 82, 104, 114 

Equites, p. 200 n. 

Eriphyle, VI. 655, p. 137 n. 

Esquiline, in. 71, v. 78, XI. 51 

Etruria, XIII. 62, p. 199 n. 

Euganei, p. 159 n. 

Euphranor, in. 217 

Euphrates, I. 104, vni. 61 

Europa, Vin. 34 

Eurus, X. 180 

Euryalus, vi. 81 

Evander, XI. 61, p. 224 n. 

Fabii, n. 146, p. 31 n., p. 159 n. 
Fabrateria, III. 224 
Fabricius, IX. 142, XI. 91 
Fabius, VII. 95, vni. 14, 191, XI. 90, 

p. 159 n. 
Fabius Gurges, vi. 266 
Fabulla, II. 68 
Faesidius, xni. 32 
Falernian, iv. 138, an. 216, p. 8 n. 
Faustus, VII. 12, p. 168 n. 
Fidenae, VI. 57, X. 100, p. 201 n. 
Flaminian Way, I. 61, 171 
Flavii, IV. 37 

Floralia, VI. 250, XIV. 262, p. 102 n. 
Fonteius, xn. 17 
Fortune, in. 40, x. 366, xiv. 316, 

p. 132 n., p. 199 n., p. 270 n. 
Forum, p. 282 n. 
Forum Augusti, p. 282 n. 
Forum Boarium, p. 107 n. 
Fronto, I. 12 
Frusino, in. 224 


Gabba, V. 4, p. 69 n. 

Gabii, ill. 192, VI. 56, VII. 4, X. 100, 

p. 201 n. 
Gades, x. 1 
Gaeticulus, VIII. 26 
Galba, II. 104, VIII. 5, 222, p. 128 n., 

p. 176 n. 
Galerus or -um, p. 174 n. 
Galla, 1. 125 
Gallicus, XIII. 157 
Gallitta, xn. 99, 113 
Gallius, xvi. 1 
Gallus, VII. 144 
Ganges, x. 2 
Ganymede, V. 59, IX. 22 
Gaul, VII. 16, 148, VIII. 116, XV. H 1 

p. 148 n., p. 177 n. 
Gauls, XI. 113 
Gaurus, IX. 57, p. 164 n. 
German, p. 68 n. 
Germans, xm. 164 
Gibraltar, p. 284 n. 
Gillo, I. 40 
Glaphyrus, VI. 77 
Gorgon, in. 118, xn. 4, p. 230 n. 
Gracchi, I. 24, VI. 168 
Gracchus, n. 117, p. 27 n., II. 143, 
vni. 201, 210, and notes on pp. 27, 
29, 174 
Gradivus, 11. 127 
Greece, xiv. 240, p. 17 n. 
Greeks, ill. 61 
Guadalquiver, p. 238 n. 
Gyara, 1. 73, x. 170 

Hades, p. 2 n. 

Haemus, III. 99, VI. 198 

Hamillus, X. 224 

Hammon, VI. 555 

Hannibal, VI. 169, 291, VII. 161, 

X. 147, XII. 108, p. 106 n., 

p. 297 n. 
Hebe, p. 249 n. 
Hector, X. 259, p. 124 n. 
Hecuba, p. 213 n. 
Hedymeles, vi. 383 
Helicon, p. 138 n. 
Heliodorus, VI. 373 
Helvidius, V. 36 


Hercules, I. 52, in. 89, v. 125, vni. 

14, X. 361, XIII. 43, 82, 151, XIV. 

90, 280, and notes on pp. 16, 38, 

159, 224, 225, 270 
Hermarchus, in. 120 
Ilermes, vm. 53 
Hermione, p. 175 «. 
Herodotus, p. 298 n. 
Hesperides, xiv. 114, p. 80 n. 
Hibernia, VI. 53 
Hippolytus, X. 325, p. 217 n. 
Hirpinus, Vin. 63 
Hirrus, x. 222 
Hispulla, VI. 74, xn. 11 
Hister, II. 58 
Homer, VI. 437, VII. 38, X. 246, 

XV. 69, p. 175 n., p. 258 n. 
Horace, VII. 62, 227, p. 7 n.,p. 145 n. 
Horatius Codes, p. 180 n. 
Humber, p. 278 n. 
Hyacinth, VI. 110 
Hylas, I. 164 
Hymettus, xni. 185 

Icarus, p. 7 n. 

Iceland, p. 297 ft. 

Ida, xni. 41, p. 249 n. 

Iliad, XI. 181 

Ilion, X. 261 

Io, VI. 526 

Iphigenia, XII. 119, p. 245 ft. 

Isaeus, III. 74, p. 36 n. 

Isis, VI. 489, 529, IX. 22, XII. 28, 

XIII. 93, p. 126 ft. 
Italians, p. 72 n. 
Italy, X. 153, XII. 78, p. 214 ». 
Itys, p. 136 n. 
lulus, VIII. 42, XII. 70 
Ixion, p. 250 ft. 

Janus, VI. 386, 394 

Jason, vi. 153, p. 2 n., p. 95 ft. 

Jerusalem, p. 96 n. 

Jews in. 14, and notes on pp. 127, 

270, 271, 272 
Johnson's London, p. 37 n. 
John the Baptist, p. 272 n. 
Joseph, p. 217 n. 
Josephus, p. 96 n. 
Jove, VI. 15, VIII. 156, X. 38, 268, 

XIV. 81, 206, 271 
Julia, n. 32, p. 19 n., p. 161 n. 
Julian Law, II. 37, VI. 38, p. 21 n. 

Julius Alexander, p. 13 n. 

Juncus, xv. 27 

Juno, II. 98, VI. 48, 619, VII. 32, 

XIII. 40, p. 126 ft., p. 302 n. 
Jupiter, VI. 59, X. 188, XI. 116, 

XII. 89, XIII. 41, 114 
Juverna, II. 160 

Lachesis, IX. 136 

Ladas, XIII. 97 

Laelius, xrv. 195 

Laenas, v. 98, p. 77 n. 

Laertes, p. 212 n. 

Laestrygones, xv. 18, p. 265 n. 

Lagos, VI. 83 

Lamiae, IV. 154 

Lapithae, p. 2 n. 

Lares, IX. 137, XII 89, 113, xni. 233 

Larga, XIV. 25 

Laterani, x. 17 

Lateranus, VIII. 147, 167 

Latinus, VI. 44 

Latin War, p. 179 n. 

Latin Way, v. 55 

Latium, VI. 637, XII. 103, p. 201 n. 

Latona, VI. 176, x. 292 

Laurentum, p. 242 n. 

Laureolus, VIII. 187 

Lavinum, xil. 71 

Leda, VI. 63 

Lentulus, VI. 80, VII. 95, vm. 187, 

X. 286 
Lentulus Spinther, p. 145 n. 
Lepidus, VI. 265, vni. 9, p. 19 n. 
Lesbia, VI. 7, p. 84 n. 
Leto, p. 97 n. 
Leucas, vm. 241, p. 178 n. 
Lex Cincia, p. 147 «. 
Libya, V. 119, p. 236 n. 
Licinus, I. 109, XIV. 306, p. 11 n. 
Lipari, p. 249 n. 
Livy, p. 195 n. 
Longinus, X. 16 

Lucan, VII. 79, p. 143 n., p. 271 n. 
Lucifer, vm. 12 
Lucilius, I. 165, p. 4n., p. 15 n. 
Lucretia, X. 293 
Lucusta, I. 71 
Lugdunum, I. 44 
Luperci, p. 28 n. 
Lycisca, VI. 123 
Lyde, n. 141 

Lydia, p. 213 n., p. 286 n. 
Lyons, p. 6 n. 



Macedonia, p. 178 n. 

Machaera, vn. 9 

Maecenas, I. 66, vn. 94, xn. 39 

Maenads, vi. 317 

Maeotis, rv. 42 

Mamerci, vm. 192 

Manilia, VI. 243 

Manius Curius Dentatus, p. 226 n. 

Marcelli, II. 145 

Marius, I. 49, vin. 120, p. 179 n. 

Maro, XI. 180 

Mars, I. 8, II. 31, VI. 59, X. 314, 

xni. 79, 113, Xiv. 261, xvi. 5, 

and notes on pp. 27, 132, 228, 

Marsyas, IX. 2 
Massa, I. 35 

Matho, I. 32, VII. 129, XI. 34 
Maura, VI. 307, X. 224 
Medea, p. 136 n. 
Med'illina, VI. 322 
Megalesian games, p. 234 n. 
Melanippa, vin. 229 
Meleager, v. 115 
Memnon, xv. 5, p. 289 n. 
Memphis, XV. 122 
Menoeceus, XIV. 240 
Mentor, Vin. 104 
Meroe, VI. 528, XIII. 163 
Messalina, x. 333, and notes on vv, 

92, 217, 288 
Messaliuus, p. 65 n. 
Meta, p. 130 n. 
Metellus, VI. 265, XV. 109, p. 42 n. 

p. 296 n. 
Mevia, I. 22 

Miletus, VI. 296. v. 259 n. 
Milo, II. 26, p. '18 n. 
Minerva, III. 139, 219, X. 116, 

XIII. 82 
Minturnae, X. 276 
Misenum. p. 32 n. 
Mitliridates, xiv. 252, p. 137 n 

p. 213 n. 
Modia, III. 130 
Molossians, xiv, 162 
Monychus, I. 11 
Mons Viminalis, p. 36 n. 
Montanus, iv. 107, 131 
Moors, xiv. 196 
Moses, xiv. 102 
Mucius, I. 154, vm, 264 
Murmillo, p. 89 n. 
Muses, vn. 37, p, 138 n. 
Mycale, v. 141 


Mycenae, xn. 127 
Myron, vm. 102 

Nabataei, p. 231 n. 

Naevolus, ix. 1, 91 

Naids, p. 16 n. 

Narcissus, xrv. 329, p. 288 n. 

Natta, VIII. 96, p. 165 n. 

Neptune, xm. 81, 152 

Nero, rv. 137, vm. 72, 193, 212, 
223, X. 15, 308, XII. 129, and 
notes on pp. 8, 15, 51, 72, 121, 
144, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 193 

Nestor, vi. 326, xn. 127, p. 210 n., 
p. 212 n. 

Nile, I. 26', VI. 83, X. 149, xm. 27, 
XV. 123, and notes on pp. 5, 128, 
248, 258, 292 

Nineveh, p. 220 n. 

Ninus, p. 26 n. 

Niobe, VI. 177, p. 96 n. 

Niphates, vi. 411 

Nortia, X. 74, p. 199 n. 

Novius, xn. Ill 

Numa, III. 12,138, VI. 342, VIII. 156 

Numantia, p. 158 n. 

Numidia, p. 209 n. 

Numitor, vn. 74, vm. 93 

Nysa, vn. 64 

Octavia, p. 175 n. 

Octavius, vm. 242, p. 19 n. 

Ogulnia, VI. 352 

Olympian games, p. 252 n. 

Olynthus, xn. 47 

Ombi. xv. 35, p. 291 n. 

Ombites, xv. 75 

Oppia, X. 220, 322 

Orcades, 11. 161 

Orestes, 1. 6, vm. 220, and notes on 

pp. 175, 284, 304 
Orontes, in. 62 
Osiris, VI. 541, vm. 29, p. 120 n., 

p. 160 n. 
Ostia, vm. 171, p. 241 n. 
Otho, 11. 99, VI. 559, xiv. 324, and 

notes on pp. 25, 26, 44, 128 
Ovid, p. 98, n., p. 145 n. 

Paccius, vn. 12 
Partus, xn. 99 
Pactolus, Xiv. 299 
Pacuvius, XII. 125, 128 
Pacuvius Hister, xn. Ill 


Palaemon, VI. 452, vn. 215, 219, 

p. 120, n., p. 155 n. 
Palfurius, iv. 53 
Pallas, I. 109, and notes on pp. 11. 

157, 236 
Pauclion, p. 136 n. 
Pansa, vm. 96, p. 165 n. 
Paris, VI. 87, vn. 87, x. 264, xn. 

44, p. 144 «., p. 154 n. 
Parrhasius, vm. 102 
Parricide, p. 174 n. 
Paulus, n. 146, vn. 143, vm. 21 
Paulus Fabius Maxim us, p. 145 n, 
Pedo, vn. 129 
Pegasus, rv. 77 
Peleus, X. 256, XIV. 214 
Pella, X. 168 
Pelopea, VII. 92 
Penelope, II. 56 
Peribomius, n. 16 
Persicus, III. 221, XI. 57 
Petosiris, VI. 581 
Phaeacians xv. 23, p. 290 n. 
Phalaris, vill. 81, p. 123 n. 
Pharos, vi. 83 
PharsaKa, p. 143 n. 
Pharsalia, Battle of, p. 178 n. 
Phiale, x. 238 
Phidias, vm. 103 
Philip of Macedon, p. 239 n. 
Philippi, Battles of, p. 178 n. 
Philippus, xin. 125 
Philomela, VII. 92 
Phoebus, VII. 233 
Pholus, XII. 45 
Picemim, iv. 65, XI. 74 
Picus, vm. 131 
Piso, v. 109, p. 193 n. 
Pittacus, II. 6 
Pluto, XIII. 50, p. 201 n. 
Plautius Lateranus, p. 193 n. 
Pollio, vi. 387, VII. 176, XI. 43, 

p. 115 n., p. 152 n. 
Pollittae, n. 68 
Polyclitus, in. 217, vm. 103 
Polyphemus, IX. 64, XIV. 20 
Polyxena, x. 262 
Pornpeia, p. 24 n. 
Pompeii, x. 108 
Pompeius, IV. 110 
Pompey, x. 283, p. 214 n. 
Pontia, VI. 666 
Ponticus, vm. 1, 75, 179 
Pontus, VI. 661, x. 273 
Poppaea, p. 121 n. 

Poppysma, p. 130 n. 

Porta Capena, in. 11, p. 32 n. 

Portus Augusti, p. 241 n. 

Posides, xiv. 91 

Postumus, vi. 21 

Praeneste, m. 190, p. 270 n. 

Priam, VI. 326, x. 258, p. 213 n. 

Priapus, VI. 316 

Prochyta, m. 5 

Procne, vi. 644, p. 136 n. 

Procula, in. 203 

Proculae, n. 68 

Proculeius, I. 40, vn. 94, p. 145 n 

Prometheus, iv. 133, VIII. 133. 

XV. 85, p. 266 n. 
Propertius, p. 84 n. 
Protogenes, in. 120 
Prusias l.,p. 205 n. 
Psecas, vi. 491, 494 
Ptolemy, p. 128 n. 
Publitis Decius Mus, p. 179 n. 
Publius Egnatius Celer, p. 40 » 
Pudicitia, p. 107 n. 
Pylades, xvi. 26 
Pylos, x. 246 
Pyrenees, x. 151 
Pyrrha, i. 84, xiv. 162, xv. 30, 

p. 244 n., p. 226 n. 
Pythagoras, xv. 173 
Pythagoreans, hi. 229 

Quintilian, VI. 75, 280, vn. 180, 190, 

p. 88 n. 
Quirini, xi. 105 
Quirinus, m. 67, VIII. 259 
Qtnrites, III. 60, X. 109 

Ravola, ix. 4 

Remus, x. 73 

Rhadamanthus, xm. 197 

Rhine, vm. 170, p. 68 n. 

Rhodes, vi. 296, p. 152 n. 

Rhodope, ix. 4 

Richborough, p. 68 n. 

Rome, II. 39, in. 41, 83, 165, 183, 
319, IV. 38, V. 58, VII. 4 138 
Vin. 243, XI. 46, 197, and notes 

°^ P ?™ 7 > 32 ' 61 » 62 > 68 > 131 > 
loo, 170 

Rubellius Blandus, vm. 39, p. 161 n. 

Rubrenus Lappa, vn. 72 

Rubrius, iv. 105 

Rufus, vn. 213, 214, p. 155 n. 

Rutila, x. 294 



Rutulians, p. 16 n. 
Rutilius Gallieus, p. 257 n. 
Rutilus, XI. 2, 5, 21, XIV. 18 
Rutupiae, IV. 140 

Sabbath, the, p. 273 n. 

Sabine, ill. 85 

Sabines, X. 299 

Saburra, ni. 5 

Saguntum, p. 297 n. 

Salamis, X. 179 

Saleius, VII. 80 

Samoa, in. 70, xvi. 6 

Samothrace, in. 144 

Sardanapalus, x. 362 

Sarmatia, IT. 1 

Sarmentus, v. 3, p. 69 n. 

Sartorius, vi. 142 

Saturn, VI. 570, XIII. 40, p. 168 n. 

Saturnalia, p. 94 n., p. 145 n. 

Saufeia, VI. 320, ix. 117 

Scaevola, p. 15 n. 

Scantinian Law, II. 44 

Scauri, II. 35, VI. 604 

Scaurus, xi. 91 

Scipio, II. 154, and notes on pp. 42, 

96, 158 
Scylla, XV. 19 
Scythians, XV. 125 
Secundus Carrinas, VII. 205 
Seius IV 13 
Sejan'us.'x. 63, 66, 76, 89, 90, 104, 

p. 198 n., p. 199 n. 
Seleucus, x. 211 
Semiramis, n. 108 
Seneca, V. 109, VIII. 212, X. 16, 

p. 174 n. 
Sentinum, p. 179 n. 
Sergius, VI. 105, 112 
Seriphos, VI. 564, X. 170 
Serpho, p. 129 n. 
Serranus, vn. 80 
Sertorius, p. 294 n., p. 296 n. 
Servilia, X. 319 

Servius Tulliua, p. 131 n., p. 179 n. 
Setia, V. 34 
Sextus, II. 21 
Shetland, p. 297 n. 
Sibyl, in. 3, vni. 126 
Sicily, p. 76 n. 
Sicvon, III. 69 
Sigillaria, p. 94 n. 
Sicnia, XI. 73 
Silanus, VIII. 27 

Silius, p. 217 n. 

Silvanus, vi. 447, p. 120 n. 

Siparium, p. 172 n. 

Sirens, p. 192 n. 

Sisyphu3, p. 250 n. 

Social Wars, the, p. 72 n. 

Socrates, XIV. 320, p. 154 n , 

p. 259 n. 
Solon, X. 274 
Sora, III. 223 
Sostratus, x. 178 
Spain, VIII. 116, X. 161, p. 148 n., 

p. 238 n. 
Sportula, p. 196 n. 
Statius, VII. 83, p. 144 n. 
Stentor, XIII. 112 
Stephanus, p. 09 n. 
Stheneboea, x. 327 
Stoic, xv. 109, and notes on pp. 17, 

18, 258, 296 
Stoics, II. 65, XIII. 121, p. 72 n., 

p. 153 n. 
Stratocles, in. 99 
Styx, p. 165 n. 

Subura, V. 106, X. 156, XI. 51, 141 
Sulla, I. 16, II. 28, p. 4 «., p. 19 n. 
Sulmo, VI. 187, p. 98 n. 
Sybaris, vi. 296 
Sycambri, IV. 147, p. 69 n. 
Syene, xi. 124, p. 230 n. 
Syphax, vi. 170 
Syria, xi. 73 

Tacitus, p. 198 n., p. 273 n. 
Tagus, III. 55, XIV. 299 
Tanaquil, VI. 566, p. 129 n. 
Tarentum, VI. 297, p. 106 n. 
Tarquin, p. 64 n. 
Tarquinius Priscus, p. 129 n. 
Tarsus, p. 41 n. 
Tatius, Xiv. 160 
Tauromenium, v. 93, p. 76 n. 
Teius, IV. 13 
Telamon, xiv. 214 
Telephus, I. 5 
Telesinus, VII. 25 
Tentyra, xv. 35, 76, p. 291 n. 
Tereus, p. 136 n. 
Terpsichore, vn. 35 
Teutones, p. 179 n. 
Thabraca, x. 194 
Thais, III. 93, VI. O 26- 
Thales, xm. 184 
Thebais, VII. 83, p. 144 n. 



Thebes, XIII. 27, Xiv. 240, XV. 6, 

and notes on pp. 97, 248, 280, 289 
Themis, p. Sin. 
Themison, X. 221 
Theodoras, vn. 177 
Thersites, VIII. 269, 271, XI. 31 
Thessaly, vm. 242, p. 132 n., 

p. 178 n. 
Thrace, p. 197 n. 
Thrasea, V. 36 
Thrasyllus, VI. 576 
Thrasymachus, vil. 204 
Thule, xv. 112 
Thyestes, vm. 228 
Thymele, I. 36, VI. 66, VIII. 197 
Tiber, III. 62, v. 104, VI. 523, 

VII. 121, XIV. 202, p. 181 n. 
Tiberius, notes on pp. 130, 155, 161, 

197, 198, 199 
Tibur, XIV. 87, p. 270 n. 
Tigellinus, I. 155 
Tiresias, XIII. 249, p. 265 n. 
Tisiphone, VI. 29 
Titans, VIII. 132 
Titus, p. 19 n. 
Tityus, p. 250 n. 
Tivoli, III. 192 
Toga picta, p. 195 n. 
Toga prsetexta, p. 233 n. 
Trajan, p. 98 n., p. 99 n. 
Tralles, in. 70 
Transylvania, p. 298 n. 
Trebius, V. 135 
Trechidipnon, p. 36 n. 
Triphallus, VI. O 26 
Trojans, VII. 236, VIII. 56, p. 213 ». 
Tros, p. 213 n. 
Troy, p. 47 n. 
Trypherus, xi. 137 
Tuccia, VI. 64 
Tullia, VI. 306 
Tullius, VII. 199 
Tullus, V. 57 

Tunica palmata, p. 194 n. 
Turnus, XII. 105, XV. 65, and notes 

on pp. 16, 25, 142, 242 
Tvdeus, XV. 66 
Tyndareus, VI. 657, p. 137 n. 

Ucalegon, in. 199 

Ulysses, xi. 31, ix. 65, X. 102, 

XV. 14, and notes on pp. 192, 

201, 212, 285, 290 
Umbritius, in. 21 
Urbicus, VI. 71 
Ursidius, VI. 38, 42 

Vagellius, XIII. 119, XVI. 23 
Varillus, II. 22 
Vatinius, p. 73 n. 
Vascones, XV. 93, p. 296 n. 
Veiento, rv. 113, IV. 123, vi. 113, 

p. 65 n., p. 159 n. 
Ventidius, VII. 199, XI. 22 
Venus, II. 31, VI. 138, 300, 570, 

VII. 25, X. 290, XVI. 5 
Venusia, p. In. 
Vercellae, p. 214 n. 
Verginia, X. £94 
Verginius, vm. 221 
Verres, II. 26, III. 53, VIII. 106, 

p. 167 n. 
Vespasian, p. 72 m. 
Vesta, IV. 61, VI. 386, p. 61 n. 
Vestal Virgins, p. 57 n. 
Vettius, VII. 150 
Vindex, vm. 222, p. 176 n. 
Virgil, VI. 435, VII. 69, 227 
Virginius Rufus, p. 176 n. 
Virgo, p. 85 n. 
Virro, V. 39, 43, 99, 114, 128, 134, 

149, 156 
Vitellius, p. 26 n. 
Volesus, vm. 182 
Volsinii, HI. 191, p. 199 n. 
Volusius, xv. 1 
Vulcan, vm. 270, x. 132, xm. 45, 

p. 138 n., p. 249 n. 

Weser, p. 69 n. 

Xerxes, p. 207 n. 

Zacynthus, xv. 114, p. 297 n. 
Zalaces, n. 164 
Zeno, XV. 107, p. 18 n. 
Zeus, notes on pp. 84, 249, 284 



Accius, I. 76, p. 325 n. 
Adeo, p. 394 n., p. 398 n. 
Agrigentum, p. 347 n. 
Alcibiades, p. 361 n., p. 358 n. 
Anticyra, p. 359 n. 
Antiope, I. 78, p. 324 n. 
Apennines, I. 95 
Arcadia, III. 9 
Arcesilas, in. 79, p. 351 n. 
Arcesilaus, p. 351 n. 
Aricia, p. 399 n. 
Aristophanes, p. 329 n. 
Aristotle, p. 347 n. 
Arretium, I. 130 
Assos, p. 374 n. 
Athens, p. 352 n. 
Attis, I. 105 
Attius, I. 50 
Auster, VI. 12 

Bacchus, p. 324 n. 
Balance, p. 373 n. 
Bassarid, I. 101 
Bassus, VI. 1, p. 392 n. 
Bathyllus, V. 123 
Baucis, IV. 21 
Berecynthius Attis, I. 93 
Bestius, VI. 37, p. 390 n. 
Bidental, p. 336 n. 
Bovillae, VI. 55, p. 399 n. 
Brisaeus, p. 324 n. 
Bruttium, VI. 27 
Brutus, V. 85 

Caesar, VI. 43, p. 338 a. 
Cffisonia, VI. 47 
Caligula, p. 397 n. 
Callirhoe, I. 133 
Canities, p. 319 n. 
Carrhae, p. 338 n. 


Cato, in. 45 

Centurions, in. 77, V. 189 

Ceres, v. 185 

Chaerestratus, V. 162, p. 385 n. 

Chrysippus, VI. 80, p. 374 n. 

Cincinnatus, I. 73, p. 323 n. 

Cleanthes, v. 64, p. 374 n. 

Cor, p. 393 n. 

Cornutus, V. 23, 37, p. 373 n. 

Crassus, 11. 36, p. 338 n. 

Craterus, in. 65 

Cratinus, 1. 123, p. 329 n. 

Crispinus, V. 126 

Cures, iv. 26 

Cybele, p. 389 n. 

Cynic, 1. 133 

Dama, v. 76, 79 
Davus, V. 161, 163, p. 385 «. 
Diana, p. 399 n. 
Dinomache, iv. 20 

Echo, I. 102 

Ennius, VI. 10, p. 324 n., p. 393 n. 

Ergenna, II. 26 

Etruria, p. 336 n. 

Eunuchus, p. 3S5 n. 

Euphorbus, p. 393 n. 

Eupolis, I. 124, p. 329 n. 

Euripides, p. 324 n. 

Falernian, in. 3 

Fate, V. 48 

Festuca, p. 377 n., p. 386 n. 

Floralia, v. 178, p. 380 n. 

Forum, p. 362 n. 

Gaul, p. 338 n. 
Germans, VI. 44 


Glyco, V. 9 
Greece, p. 352 n. 
Greeks, I. 127, V. 191 

Helicon, V. 7, p. 369 n. 
Hercules, n. 12, p. 334 n. 
Herod, V. 180, p. 387 n. 
Hippocrene, p. 310 n. 
Hippolytus, p. 399 n. 
Hippomanes, p. 133 n. 
Homer, pp. 316, 368, 393 nn. 
Horace, I. 116, pp. 324, 328, 348, 

353, 380, 386, 396 nn. 
Hypsipyle, I. 34 

Iliad, I. 50 

Ionian Sea, vi. 29 

Isis, p. 388 n., p. 389 n. 

I us naturae and " equity," p. 378 n. 

Janus, I. 58, p. 322 n. 

Jove, v. 114 

Jupiter, II. 21, 22, 29, 40, 43, 

V. 50, 137, 138, p. 373 n. 
Juvenal, p. 328 n., p. 337 n. 

Labeo, I. 4, p. 316 »., p. 320 n. 
Licinus, II. 36, p. 338 n. 
Lucilius, I. 114, p. 328 n. 
Lucretius, p. 392 n., p. 399 n. 
Luna, vi. 9 
Lupus, I. 115 

Macrinus, r n. 1 

Maenad, i. 101, 105 

Maeon, vi. 11 

Maine, p. 378 n. 

Manius, VI. 56, 60 

Marathon, p. 349 n. 

Marcus, v. 80, 81 

Maris expers, p. 396 n. 

Masurius Sabinus, p. 378 n. 

Medes, in. 53 

Melicerta, V. 103, p. 379 n. 

Menander, p. 385 n. 

Mercury, II. 44, vi. 62, p. 338 n., 

p. 380 n. 
Messala, II. 72 
Messalae, p. 341 n. 
Messalinus, p. 341 n. 
Middle Academy, p. 351 n. 
Miscere, p. 381 n. 

Mucius, I. 115 
Muse, v. 21 
Muses, p. 369 n. 
Mycenae, v. 17 

Natta, in. 31 
Nereus, I. 94 
Nerius, II. 14 
Nero, p. 327 n. 
Numa, II. 59 

Orestes, in. 118 
Ovid, p. 361 n. 

Pacuvius, I. 77, p. 32 1 n. 
Paganalia, p. 311 n. 
Painted Portico, p. 349 n. 
Palaemon, p. 379 n. 
Palilia, I. 72, p. 322 n. 
Parmenio, p. 385 n. 
Pedius, I. 85, p. 325 n. 
Pericles, IV. 3, p. 358 n. 
Persians, p. 349 n. 
Phaedria, p. 385 n. 
Phalaris, p. 347 n. 
Phocis, p. 359 n. 
Phyllis, 1.34 

noiKiX-q orda, p. 349 n. 

Polydamas, I. 4, p. 316 n. 
Primordia vocum, p. 392 n. 
Procne, v. 8, p. 369 n. 
Publius, V. 74, p. 376 w» 
Pulfennius, V. 190 
Pythagoras, VI. 11, p. 349 »., 
p. 383 w. 

Quincunx, p. 384 n. 
Quintus, p. 393 m. 
Quirites, in. 106 

Remus, I. 73 
Rhine, vi. 47 
Rome, I. 5, 8, and notes on pp. 323, 

324, 340, 397 
Romulus, I. 31, 87 

Samos, p. 349 n. 
Saturn, II. 59, v. 50 
Servius Tullius, p. 376 n. 
Sicily, in. 39 
Socrates, p. 358 n. 
Solon, in. 79 



Stalus, II. 19, 22, p. 336 n. 
Stoic, p. 378 n. 
Stoics, p. 349 n 
Subura, V. 32 

Tacitus, p. 341 n. 
Tadius, VI. 66 
Terence, p. 385 n. 
Tereus, p. 369 n. 
Tesserae, p. 348 n. 
Thessaly, p. 359 n. 
Thyestes, v. 8 
Tiber, II. 15 
Titos, p. 318 n. 
Toga praetexta, p, 370 ». 

Transvectio equitum, p. 346 n. 
Twins, V. 49, p. 373 w. 

Umbrians. ill. 74 

Veientine, V. 147 
Veivtidiu3, IV. 25 
Venus, II. 70, p. 340 n., p. 
Vertere, p. 382 n. 
Vestals, II. 60 
Vindicta, P. 376 n. 
Virbius, VI. 56, p. 399 n 
Virgil, I. 96, p.368n. 

Zeno, p. 349 n., p. 374 ti, 

348 n 

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Woodward and Harold Mattingly. 

STRABO : GEOGRAPHY. Horace L. Jones. 8 Vols. Vols. I.-IV. 

Bart. 2 Vols. 

THUCYDIDES. C. F. Smith. 4 Vols. 

XENOPHON:CYROPAEDIA. Walter Miller. 2 Vols. (Vol.1, 2nd Imp.) 

POSIUM. C. L. Brownson and O. J. Todd. 3 Vols. [Marchant. 




Greek Authors. 

ARISTOTLE, ORGANON, W. M. L: Hutchinson. 

ARISTOTLE, PHYSICS, Rev. P. Wicksteed 


Edward Capps. 

Robson. 2 Vols. 



ISOCRATES, G. Norlin. 
LYSIAS, W. R. M. Lamb. 

PAPYRI, A. S. Hunt. 
PHILO, F. M. Colson and G. W. Whitaker. 

* t 


PLATO, REPUBLIC, Paul Sborey. 


R. C Bury. 


etc, A. D. Knox. 

Latin Authors. 



CICERO, DE ORATORS, ORATOR, Bl ill . • -i ■■•• 


MILONE.etc, N. H. Wall 

LUCAN, J. D. DufT. 
OVID, FASTI, Sir J. O. Fr.^er. 

It INY, NATURAL HISTORY, W. II. S. Jones and L. F. Newman 
SIDONIUS, LETTERS. E. V. Araold and \V. B. Anderson. 
STATIUS, J. H. Mozley. 
TACITUS, ANNALS, John Jackson. 
VALERIUS FLACCUS, A. F. Scholfield. 



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